Athlete of the Week – Pam Detzner

This week’s Athlete of the Week goes to Pam D. Pam is one of those athletes that we look forward to seeing every time she walks into the gym. She is always cheerful and ready for a hard workout no matter what life has thrown at her that day. We have watched Pam grow in skill and determination, and have also been encouraged by watching how she handles adversity and challenge. This lady never ever gives up. She might scale back or modify a workout, but she never lets an injury or setback get in the way of her progress. If you have had a chance to be in class with Pam and her daughter Rebecca, you may have seen first hand the sweet relationship they have. Watching these two cheer each other on in the last minute of a WOD or seeing one physically go through the motions of a lift while the other is striving for a new PR is a highlight of having family members workout together at Sycamore CrossFit. One lesser known fact is that Pam is also known for her amazing Globtrotter skills with a Lacrosse ball. This is one of Coach Eric’s favorite “Pam style” warm-up activities, so make sure you ask her to demo in class sometime. 🙂 Pam is one fierce mama, and we are thankful to have her as a member of our CrossFit Family.


How would you explain your occupation to a 5 year old?

I am a retired 8th grade English/Language Arts teacher and I still substitute teach in Sycamore. I help students to understand literature and sharpen their writing skills. I also work at a CPA office during income tax season assisting with tax returns.

How did you get started with CrossFit?

My daughter Rebecca and her fiancé Ross were doing CrossFit and encouraged me to give it a try.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

3 years

What are your hobbies and interests outside Crossfit?

My soon to be 3 year old Granddaughter Morgan is the light of my life! I love spending time and playing with her though I don’t see her as often as I would like since my son, daughter in law and Morgan live in Wisconsin. I enjoy spending time at the horse farm with Ross and Rebecca, work or play, doesn’t matter! I love to read and attend theater productions whenever possible. I love road trips!

What is your fitness background?

In high school, I was a varsity cheerleader….that’s the beginning and the end of my fitness background!!!

Short-term training goal?

I would like to continue to improve my running endurance and be able to run longer intervals especially as I prepare for my 3rd Sycamore Pumpkin 10k run this fall. I would love to be able to deadlift 100#! Oh and look good for Ross and Rebecca’s wedding 😉

Long-term training goal?

My main goal Is to stay healthy, active and injury free! However, I would LOVE to be able to hang from a pull-up bar even for 5 seconds! I just got a squat clean PR at 55# recently so my new goal is to get 65#!!!

What is your favorite movement?

I like rowing… ideally less than a 5K though…but I’ve done that twice now…and survived! 🙂

What is your least favorite movement?


Proudest moment in CrossFit so far?

Doing a headstand and doing my first wall walk! I’m also proud of completing the mile run, 5000m row, half Murph and some of the tougher, longer workouts we’ve done. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment at the end! I’ve also done the Sycamore 10k twice now, this year will be my third!

What was your biggest obstacle to starting CrossFit and how did you overcome that?

I hadn’t ever done anything to challenge myself physically so convincing myself to come to CrossFit, learn movements, try new movements and lift weights was daunting but empowering once I realized everything can be scaled to best suit my ability and goals, and help me improve and stay safe.

What kept you coming back?

The support of my classmates and everyone cheering me on keeps me coming back. Over time, I’ve gotten stronger, improved my balance and endurance and feel like I have more energy. I want to stay healthy and active for MANY years to come!!

Your advice for someone considering starting CrossFit?

You are likely going to be very surprised at what you CAN do! Give it a chance.

Crossfit might have saved my life. Almost exactly 3 years ago, very early on in CrossFit just out of foundations, after a hot summer workout, I ended up with a blood pressure spike that sent me to the ER. Not ever having had high BP previously, the doctors and I took this very seriously. An incidental and unrelated finding during their diagnostics found a brain aneurysm. After a trip to Mayo Clinic, this was successfully coiled and here I am! While this aneurysm was likely something I unknowingly had had for a long time, without a hot workout at CrossFit, a BP spike and an ER trip, I might not have known and been able to have this repaired before it became a MUCH scarier situation! Everything happens for a reason and I’m certainly glad for that! And I’m glad to be able to continue on in my fitness journey 🙂


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