Titan of the Month June 2024 – Tara Baynes

Tara Baynes, Titan of the Month June 2024

My name is Tara Baynes and I am a registered nurse who has been practicing for 24 years… and still going. I have a BS in Biology from Mount St. Mary’s College (now Mount University) and my BSN from Johns Hopkins. I have worked in several fields of nursing including solid tumor cancer, ICU, step down ICU, kidney/liver transplant. But my heart and joy belong to the heart in nursing. I have worked with patients with many different heart issues including heart bypass. I work at Sinai hospital (a total of 18 years now, I think) currently as a heart failure nurse navigator. I left the bedside after 19 years, prior to COVID.

I am married to my husband Dave and have 3 wonderful children: Lilija, Tegan and Jeffrey. I currently spend most of my free time driving them to various sporting activities. 🙂

What led you to try CrossFit?

I have always enjoyed sports. I played volleyball in high school but unfortunately learned to also be a cheerleader due to various ankle injuries. As life happens, getting married, having kids, getting divorced, I lost my way in taking care of myself physically. After my divorce 13 years ago, I made a promise that it was time to put me first and to take care of myself.

Why do you continue to CrossFit?

That started my fitness journey. I started by working out in the apartment gym, going for walks, doing Just Dance videos, and joining the YMCA. I remember having conversations with several of my friends who were just beaming about CrossFit. I always thought I could never do that! However, I was curious and wanted to try it. I made another promise that when my son started kindergarten, I would try CrossFit. I was told to just show up and keep showing up. 6 years later… still showing up, loving and doing CrossFit as often as I can with the amazing Rooster Crew.

Describe how your attitude towards health and fitness has evolved since you began your journey

CrossFit challenges me every day. Throughout my CrossFit journey, I have had challenges with getting older and my body not working the way I want it too. I have had broken feet, toes, plantar fasciitis, and constant knee pain. THE best part about CrossFit, I can always modify. It does not matter if I am making PR’s or not, I can modify when needed and listen to my body. No one judges. The coaches are amazing at helping to modify the workouts to my individual needs.

Share a memorable CrossFit moment that makes you laugh or puts a smile on your face

Several CrossFit memories that put a smile on my face include competing in the Opens and doing the Murph on Memorial Day with Titan members. Each CrossFit Open, I have always told myself to take one thing away from it. Each year that has happened from making that one PR, to stringing together banded muscle ups.

What are you proud of and why?

To complete the Murph each year is a complete honor. I remember last year we all wore necklaces with the name of a solider who died. At about round 15, when I felt completely done and wanted to stop and give up, my necklace tapped the floor when I was doing pushups. In that moment, it was completely overwhelming to even understand the depths and struggles our military must face. But it gave me the strength to conquer through and to finish the workout. That year, I was able to complete all kipping pull-ups.

What’s your advice for other CrossFitters or people looking to start?

My advice to new people looking to start their CrossFit journey, show up. You will be surprised what you are actually capable of doing! And then keep showing up, despite wherever you may be in your fitness journey. There is ALWAYS a way to modify the workout and still get an amazing workout. I am total proof of that!!!! It is an absolute honor to be the Titan of the month!

Why the coaches chose Tara as Titan of the month

Tara has been nothing if not consistent. A long-standing Rooster crew (5:30am) member, she welcomes everyone with a smile and hello. She will show up and do whatever her body lets her. Sometimes that means going full force in a WOD. Sometimes that means biking on the side lines and yelling out encouragement to everyone. There was even a long period of time where Tara showed up and wore a medical boot to get her fitness in. She’s a wonderful person for a partner WOD. Tara is always helping with morning equipment. She understands how to scale workouts; and has no problem asking questions. She takes critique and coaching well.

Tara keeps the rest of the Rooster Crew in line with comical banter. She is really a people person. She knows how to communicate on a personal level to make those around her feel welcome, comfortable and at ease. We can’t think of a more caring nurse to have as part of anyone’s medical team. Thank you Tara for being you!