Our Athletes of the Month for June are the amazing duo, Vickie and Colton Partlow! It's even more fitting to honor their whole family since their three girls are all athletes at our gym, so Coco, Mia, and Laine we honor you too!
Vickie and Colton have made health and fitness a priority for their family since Colton lost his dad unexpectedly in 2012. He further expounds on this story in their post. Colton's transformation has been nothing short of amazing, losing over 30 pounds and bringing his body fat % down to a stunning 12.5% on his most recent InBody scan.
Vickie and Colton started with us almost three years ago and have both just entered the prestigious 500 workout club. In addition to getting their 3 daughters into FitTown, they've also served the BeachFit Kool-Aid to their sister-in-law Anna, who now loves it too. Anna competed in our Better Half Battle in March with her husband Raul, and Colton and Vickie were kind enough to be a judge for them and others in the competition.
They give some really wise advice in their athlete feature, and I wanted to highlight one piece here. Colton says, "I also like the new friends I’ve met that I’d consider more “like-minded” like myself. People focused on things like health, nutrition, family, and growth both personally and professionally. The more I’m into this lifestyle the further I seem to grow apart from some of my longest friends that drink a 12 pack every day and a case on the weekends. My mother always used to tell me, 'you are who you hang out with.' I used to think that was such BS but she was right and I tell my kids the same thing now."
We are lucky to hang out with you guys each day and thank you for helping make our community, our FitTown, an amazing place to be!
So how did you two meet?
Vickie- Colton and I met in Boca back in our college days and we were introduced by a mutual friend Danielle Joyce, who is also a member at our gym. We were married May 19, 2007 we just celebrated our Lucky #13 during Corona 2020. The whole "Lucky #13" really played well in 2020, so far it's been a VERY interesting year, but other than all the craziness going on, 2020 has actually treated us very well. We were partners in a business that we grew from the ground up back in 2015 and we just recently bought our partners out and own Jupiter Payments. Jupiter Payments is a Credit Card Processing Company. We help small and medium size businesses around the USA accept credit card payments and consult with business owners how we can streamline payments to fit their needs. We do retail, hospitality, restaurants, ecommerce, agriculture, wholesale - you name it, we do it! So needless to say we are busy, but we try our best to be present in all that we do. That includes raising our 3 beautiful girls Corinne "Coco" (15), Mia (11) and Laine (7).
Colton- anyone do the math yet?
What do you do for fun? Any hobbies?
Vickie- Oh Geez... I love the beach. My most favorite thing to do at the beach is to find sea glass. I also enjoy fishing/boating; but my #1 hobby - Cooking. If I ever went back to school I would 100% go to culinary school. I find cooking fun and fascinating, my specialty is Sushi and Spanish/Cuban food. I also LOVE doing charitable work. It gives me a sense of purpose. I love showing my kids that sometimes we have to give back. We must always think of others, life doesn't revolve around us.
Colton- I’m pretty into hunting and fishing as anyone that knows me is well aware of! My whole family is. I just flow with the seasons. Spring is the start of tuna season and when fishing starts to really heat up. Summer we do a lot of Bahama trips as a family and with no kids a lot as well. Fishing, diving, deep dropping and just exploring new places. Aug/Sept gator season starts and as that wraps up the wahoo fishing turns on and hunting season begins, deer, ducks, etc. Most of all, I’m addicted to Daytime Swordfishing. Like really bad! One of the biggest, hardest to catch and most badass fish in the sea! I know some people might read this and think, wow, you kill a lot of animals. True, but I also believe in conservation and creating/maintaining sustainable lands/fisheries. In fact, most people don’t know this, but hunters and fisherman are the top conservationists out there protecting our resources and making sure they are there for generations to come. It’s true, look it up! I also enjoy providing food for my family, friends and community just like people have been doing for millions of years. So if you see a Yeti filled with fish in the gym, it’s probably a giant swordfish but you have to get it quick as it goes fast!
Were you both athletic growing up? Did you guys play sports?
Vickie- I started playing Soccer when I was 4. My brothers played so it was kind of a given that I would too. I have 2 brothers and was always expected to do everything they did but better. I recently saw a cup on Instagram and laughed, but it's the truth. It Read “Thank you dad for teaching me to be a man, even though I'm your daughter”. I also played tennis and won the National Championship for Christian Schools in 2002. Being active wasn't a choice in my house. My mom was a gym rat, I remember the Ballys Total Fitness kids room like it was yesterday. My dad was a tri-athlete, as a child I sat on side lines and cheered him on. I would sit on his bike and try to reach his pedals... which I probably still can't reach as a 35 yr old woman. (oh well) #shortpeopleproblems
Colton- I wasn’t the best athlete on the teams but I did pretty well at sports. Kind of the same as CrossFit for me. My parents weren’t into sports like Vickie’s so my sports background was driven more from friends and competition in the neighborhood. I grew up in Northern NY (basically Canada) where lacrosse is literally life. Soccer, basketball, baseball as well. I was always one of the tallest so that usually helped me out. #tallpeopleproblems
How did you come about joining FitTown?
Vickie- 3 years ago I attended a local gym and one day I walked up and the gym was closed... doors locked... never to open again. I had been attending that gym for a year and was just getting back in my groove. I've always "worked out" but it has never felt like it does now. I decided to give Beach Fit a try and instantly got hooked. The gym is great, I’m sure we can all agree on that. What hooked me wasn't the gym itself, it was the community and the people. It felt like HOME. I had never felt that feeling at a gym before. So about a month went by and after telling Colton daily to give it a try, he finally did and he drank the Fit Aid. 3 years later ALL of my family are members at FitTown. Corinne is a Beachfitter, she normally attends the 4:30 with her Aunt Anna. Mia is a regular in the CrossFit Kids class, she makes us look bad cause CrossFit comes so easy to her. Mia has been a pretty competitive Gymnast since she was 5. She walks on her hands more than her feet and she absolutely loves challenges - a hard challenge, I’ve never seen her back down from something and that makes me so proud. Miss Laine LOVES her hour with Coach Tony and the little Kids. Her favorite movement is BURPEES... and PUSH-UPS- she’s so my child!!!. If you have kids I highly recommend getting them into the kids classes. Melissa treats the kids as they were her own, and Tony is just a big kid himself, so having the little ones I think he enjoys it more than they do. I love that we are part of a community that my entire family can benefit from and count on.
Colton- What she said! I worked from home, and worked out at home for over a decade. P90X, things like that. I had my good years and not so good years. We have always had a decent home gym setup and when I started CrossFit we put a rig in our house so that helped big time during Rona! There’s nothing like being at the facilities, around other people, coaches, loud music, pushing each other and Nick’s fist bumps! My man!
What's your most memorable moment?
Vickie- I have to say my most memorable moment at FitTown has nothing to do with fitness and more to do with support. I lost my best friend from Breast Cancer in March of 2019, the amount of emotional support and physical support I got from the community was overwhelming. It made me realize I'm not just a number at that gym... This was a VERY hard time for me and my gym family made it easier to swallow.
Colton- Definitely having to jump in the pool at home after not just my first class, but my 2nd as well! I thought, am I going to have to do this every time? In all fairness, I did try to keep up with Lauren Anthony in a wod with a lot of running. In hindsight, maybe not the best idea for my first class, but I didn’t die!
What are your favorite movements to see in a workout?
Vickie-I love Burpees, I love the BIKE ERG, I love Toes 2 Bar, I love Pushups, I'm starting to find some love for my jump rope, it's a love hate relationship.
Colton- NOT Burpees! Cleans are my favorite but I haven’t flipped a tire yet so might change my mind later! I mean, I don’t mind typical tall guy stuff…rowing, skiing, biking and running, but I really like anything with the barbell, even though I suck at it. I didn’t have any Olympic lifting experience before joining FitTown so I think it’s my favorite b/c it’s new and I have so much room to improve.
Do you have future goals in CF or fitness related?
Vickie- I've been focusing on my Heart Rate a lot lately trying to get it down while working out, even if that means slowing down - which I’m speedy so that's been hard. I would also love to learn the Kip movement on pull ups and would one day love to do a muscle up. I've always loved a good Yoga flow class but I've made it a point to incorporate Yoga into my week. I attend a “Warm Power Yoga” on Thursdays and it's everything I need and more. Thanks to Courtney Lamasney who made me go once it's now a weekly thing for me. Treat your body right people.
Colton- I have goals in everything I do from family to business and fishing to fitness! I do have some body composition goals (Skeletal Muscle Mass over 100lbs, currently 98.1lbs), Body Fat (under 10%, currently 12.5%). I’m in the best shape of my life at 41 and I plan to keep doing this forever so I’m really all about just staying healthy, resting more these days, and enjoying the journey.
How have you navigated "failures" or obstacles like injuries during your CrossFit journey?
Vickie- Failure is something I don't take well; Not sure anyone does. I'm very hard on myself and I try to be as independent as possible. Failure fuels me to strive to be better. It's hard for me to ask for help, I blame it on being raised with boys and always having to keep up with them. My Father always told me, you fail - you keep going, living in the past does nothing for you. I had a pretty painful shoulder injury that I struggled with for almost 6 months. After being in denial about it Coach Melissa encouraged me to work with Austin. TRUST THE PROCESS PEOPLE. After about 5 months of working with him I'm all good. There are days that my shoulder is tight and feels off but I've learned to listen to my body. I couldn't even snatch the bar... I couldn’t do a lot of things. I'm proud to say the only movement that still bothers me is a side plank and today I did them ALL!!! Big win!
Colton- One of the 1st things Zach Eggen ever told me was to build my strength from the inside out. Drew told me to take my time and build my micro muscles. I didn’t listen to either of them b/c truthfully I didn’t really understand what they meant and I was just anxious for more! I’ve had a couple injuries but they were only my fault. My biggest was my lower back from getting out of form on pretty light deadlifts in a fast paced Metcon. After spending a good amount of time with Zach Summers and Austin doing some PT and strength training, I saw how developing my core strength helped with not just my lower back pain, but really everything. Now I spend a lot more time before and after class activating and strengthening my core and its paid off. I’ve really never felt better and I’m a lot more aware of what I need to do to stay healthy. Zach, Drew, it took me a while, but I hear you and I see you!
Do you guys keep each other accountable when it comes to working out, eating better? And be honest, are there SugarWod score comparisons going on over dinner?
Vickie- Colton and I and even the kids, we all keep each other accountable. And Yes, Sugar WOD comes up often but not as often as My Fitness Pal… or Tony’s Abs. We talk about those often too. We support each other and push each other to be our best. We've all had setbacks and we always persevered. Not only do we support each other but we have the support of all of YOU! Our oldest daughter Corinne had a pretty serious horseback riding injury and is now fully recovered. She's finally back at the gym and I'm so thankful for all the support from all the coaches. If you ask her she’ll tell you that the Support from Amanda, Melissa, and Nick is what got her through it. Her first day back to BeachFit she came home with a smile from ear to ear. The day of her injury her first question to her doctor was “when can I ride a horse again?” her second was “when can I get back to the gym”. Other than probably having to wait a year to ride, she was SO disappointed she wouldn't make the committed club for 2020, but I told her there is always next year. So 2021, look out cause Coco is coming for ya.
Colton- I’m pretty obsessed with MyFitnessPal, and now Whoop. I also track my weight daily and average it for the week. That’s really helped me put muscle on slowly while keeping the extra fat off. Vickie and I also talk a lot about having this amazing opportunity to enroll our kids into this healthy lifestyle. My parents didn’t teach me very much about nutrition and we didn’t have the technology like we do today to help track and stay accountable. Vickie and I wanted to change that, but we don’t want our kids obsessing over it at their age. We have had the older girls try tracking just so they could see what we do and what they eat but again, trying not to overdo it with them so they hate it.
What has your journey with nutrition been like?
Vickie- Our dedication to nutrition has driven us all to focus more on how we fuel our bodies and what we surround ourselves with. We aren't perfect but we try and with Danielle's help we've managed to tighten up over the last 2 years. Our nutrition journey started about 8 years ago after Colton’s Father died. It was a big wake up call for my husband and I. That experience fueled us to want to be better, better at everything and that included our eating. We’ve also cut back on our alcohol intake. I personally have never been a heavy drinker, it's actually rare for me to drink, it's more of a social thing for me. I do enjoy a good tequila drink every now and then but let me tell you the older I get and the cleaner we eat, recovering from a few drinks the night before is just brutal.
Colton- Like Vickie said, we’ve been chipping away at nutrition with a little more purpose since 2012 when my dad passed. I took a life insurance test about that time and was assessed a premium b/c my cholesterol was too high. This was my awaking. My grandfather died in his low 70’s from heart issues. My dad just died at 71 from heart issues. Look, I might get eaten by a shark or gator in my 40’s, but I know this. I’m NOT dying at 70 from heart issues! I was ok at best with my nutrition for about 6 years. My primary care doctor wanted to put me on statins at 32. I didn’t want to be on statins for the rest of my life so I made a deal with him. I’d get my blood done 2x’s a year and as long as my numbers improved each time we would hold off. I’m 6’3” and usually ping ponged b/w 220-230. Lost a little weight, better numbers. Took some OTC drugs like Niacin and Red Yeast Rice, better numbers. Doctor still wanted me on statins but I realized he was just a drug/referral doctor so I made a switch. New doc thought progress was good so we kept trying to improve w/o statins. I basically bottomed out with my LDL around 130 which is “above optimal” but considering I’m supposed to be “predisposed” with high cholesterol based on family history, he thought it was actually a decent range for me. If you know me, I’m never satisfied. (Never Satisfied is literally the name of one of our boats lol) I wanted my LDL in the “optimal” range which is below 100. This is when BeachFit started around Feb 2018. I was close to 230lbs and wish I did a scan when I started but I’d guess I was around 22-24% BF. I did pretty good on my own getting down to about 205lbs and 18% BF by the fall of 2018, but I had hit a wall. I realized the my weak point was still nutrition so I signed up with Danielle and worked with her for a year. This is where the change really started to happen. I wanted to try to gain muscle while losing fat so we had a slow and steady approach. She really simplified the process for me and got my numbers where they needed to be to hit my goals. Half way through my year with Danielle I added some strength training with Austin too and by fall 2019 I was down about 7 more lbs. to (205 to 198) my muscle mass was up about 4 lbs. (94-98) and by BF down from about 18% to 14%. When I went back to look at my blood lipids again, they were finally below 100. I even stopped taking the OTC drugs and today around 195lbs/12.5% my LDL is around 90. 100% through diet and exercise, no drugs, not even OTC! THIS is my driving force today. I want to break the streak of the men in my family and to pass these healthy habits down to my kids. I also hope this helps someone reading this who might feel pressured into prescription drugs by a doctor like I had. If I can do it, you can to and if you want to talk just reach out. I basically have a PhD in blood lipids at this point, nbd!
What would you say to someone sitting on their couch possibly looking to make a change?
Vickie- GET UP!!!! MOVE!!!! What are you waiting for? It's only 1 hour of your day! YOU WONT REGRET IT. The first step is always the hardest then it becomes a routine/habit. We are ALL here to support you. ALL OF US! I know easier said than done, but talking about it isn't gonna get you anywhere. Like Colton says "stop talking about it and be about it"
Colton- One of my best friends from childhood still lives in Northern NY where we grew up. We were talking a few years ago and he asked if I was working out still. This was when I was P90x’ing it. I was like, yah I do what I can, but I’m pretty busy with work. He said, “that’s such bullshit, we’re all busy!” I’ll never forget that. We are all busy, but if it’s important, you need to make time. So I’d tell that person on the couch to find your “why” (like I don’t want to die at 70), and get to work! It will change your life, and maybe even save it.
Do you do anything for personal growth you'd like to share? Routines, habits, or mottos that help guide you each day?
Vickie- Get up and be at the gym or yoga by 8am. Not going to lie, if I don’t get there by at least 9am... it just isn't happening. I get home and eat a good breakfast, head to work. I'm normally done by 3ish. I come home to my kids and that's when my day really starts. Before Corona I joked that I would buy a mini yellow bus for my kids because from 3-9pm some nights I drive them from one activity to the next. CrossFit kids to Soccer to Gymnastics, Clubs, tutoring, etc... I do have to say this - Corona 2020 has allowed me to SLOW DOWN and enjoy life. I get to hang with the kids, my husband and family. I've gotten so much closer to a few of my friends because I've had TIME!! I'm thankful for that.
I have a few quotes I stand by:
There is no “I can’t” - it’s I presently struggle with…
“You have to GO through things, to GROW through things.”
“When you can't control what's happening, Control the way you respond”
Colton- For me right now, I’m all about consistency and sustainability. One of my uncles, who I’ve leaned on since my dad died and I started this health journey, once said to me, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat”. Food junkies will hate that comment, but it resonated and works for me. My 1st 1000 calories each day come from the same foods, I enjoy it and most importantly its sustainable for me. I’ve come to the conclusion diets are bullshit. Feel free to quote me on that! I believe if it’s important to you, if it’s something you want to last your lifetime, find what works for “you” and what you can sustain over the long run.
What do you enjoy most about FitTown?
Vickie- Everything. I love the Coaches. I love the members. I love that I get to be a part of such an inspiring community. I love the all-around support I get. I love that I get to work out with my close friends. I love that my entire family gets to do something positive together. I grew up in a Christian home, my parents instilled a lot in me. To Love one another as Christ has loved us. I was taught by my most favorite pastor in my life, Billy Joe Daughtery, that the Church is not the building. It’s not the address you find when you google it. It's the People. I feel this way about our Gym. Our Gym is not the two buildings, It’s not the barbells, it's not the Rig or the cardio machines, it's our people. It's why we feel so at Home. I'm so thankful I walked into BeachFit 3 years ago. I feel so blessed to call FitTown my Gym.
Colton- I echo what Vickie said but 2 things stand out for me. I really like just showing up. I have enough to deal with outside the gym with business, kids or planning our next adventure! Thankfully Vickie does really well with grocery shopping and Austin with programming so I just show up, eat it and send it! I also like the new friends I’ve met that I’d consider more “like minded” as myself. People focused on things like health, nutrition, family and growth both personally and professionally. The more I’m into this lifestyle the further I seem to grow apart from some of my longest friends that drink a 12 pack every day and a case on the weekends. My mother always used to tell me, “you are who you hang out with”. I used to think that was such bs but she was right and I tell my kids the same thing now. I’m pretty extraverted so if you see me around feel free to say hey, talk to me about fishing, hunting or blood lipids! And don’t get it twisted, I’ll bet anyone reading this $100 I can shotgun a beer faster than you. Bet!
Thank you for so much for choosing us as athletes of the month. We’re blessed to be a part of such a great community and we’re thankful to all of the Frezza's and Coaches for making FitTown a special place!