For Laura Howard it was love at first sight. She remembers those puppy love days during her first Muncie CrossFit classes at The Arsenal.
“During the on-ramp classes, we would just mess around,” she told me.
No, she’s not talking about her CrossFit-coaching firefighting fiancé, Adam James; she’s talking about someone else. She’s talking about Adam’s dog, Scooby.
“I saw Scooby, and I was like who’s dog is that?”
It took Adam a bit longer than Scooby to win Laura’s affection.
Life’s Small Big Decisions
In high school at New Castle, Laura wasn’t into sports. She was into show choir.
“Show choir was my thing. We totally won state! No big deal.”
The state-winning performance was a medley that included Earth, Wind, & Fire’s Let’s Groove Tonight and an eight-piece band. Laura enjoyed the costume changes, the hair, and the makeup. During her senior year she was accepted at Purdue. High school to college. Her path seemed clear, but she questioned her motivations.
“I was going to go to Purdue for literally no other reason than because my best friend was going there.”
“We always do hair and makeup before a show, and I was talking to Andrea, a stylist I know. I was telling her about my situation about Purdue. She was like, ‘That’s funny because I literally had the same scenario, even with going to Purdue.’ (She is a Christian lady. It is so cool how God planted this conversation.) I was like, ‘I’m a people person, I can do this.’ I told my friend who ended up going to Purdue, I was like, ‘Becky, I don’t think I’m going to Purdue. I think I want to do hair.’ She looked at my hair, and said, ‘Well, I think that suits you.’”
Laura visited a few schools in the area before deciding to study at Amber’s Beauty School, owned by Muncie CrossFit members Brooke and Brian Shrieve.
“Amber’s just felt right. That was the turning moment which changed the rest of my life.”
At the time, Laura had no idea the chain of events that would be set in motion by the decision. Even life’s seemingly smallest decisions, such as where to work out can alter the course of a life.
But I’m ahead of things. Laura went to school at Amber’s. Brooke recruited her for a position at her salon, Redhead Salon. Brooke had joined Muncie CrossFit early on and one day told the stylists at Redhead, “Guys, we should try this as a team.”
Adam coached the group.
It was love at first sight with Scooby, but with Adam…
“It was probably interest at first sight,” Laura said. And then she proceeded to comment on his hairstyle at the time. “Adam had extremely short hair. He used to cut it himself.”
But despite his hair, her interest in him grew.
“The first time he gave me his number was during the on-ramp class. He wanted to know if one of the girls was coming at a certain time and if he needed to be there. He was like, ‘Here’s my card. Text me if she is going to be there.’
I’ve not fully researched the emotions (emotion?) of Adam “stoic” James, but I’m guessing that by the gesture Adam was secretly thinking, “Boy, I need to eat something in order to supply my giant thighs of power with enough protein to survive. If this woman isn’t coming, I could go eat!”
But that’s not important. What’s important was what Laura thought after she left with the card.
“He gave me his card! That was how I started my day, and I was so happy going into work!”
“The first time he came into Redhead. We were like, ‘Who is going to give him the tour?’ My face was beet red. I was shampooing him. I’m sure the conversation was awkward. He was like, ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ I was going to King’s Island for Halloween.”
But within a few weeks they went on their first date.
Curls & Curls
The other stylists at Redhead dropped off over time, but Laura stuck with CrossFit.
“I liked my new lifestyle. I get up early in the morning. I’m productive right away. I have to be a morning person because I get off work at a different time every day. It’s not like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to work out,’ but I do it for longevity of my life.”
Laura has consistently attended classes at Muncie CrossFit for more than three years now.
“I see subtle changes. I can do double-unders, I can kip my toes-to-bar. My handstand push-ups are getting better. I feel like my arms look stronger when I flex really hard.”
To help her arms look stronger, on occasion, she can be found doing a very non-CrossFit movement after class–bicep curls. Her arms need to look good for her wedding dress.
Last year a firetruck pulled into Redhead, and her CrossFit coach, in full fireman gear, dropped to one knee and proposed to her.
“It was really easy for me to fall in love with him.”
Thank God she didn’t go to Purdue.