Keyla and Ish are a strong duo that have made amazing progress in their time at Behemoth. Not only is Keyla a pro at baking and Ish the best brisket maker in town, but they have both committed and transformed themselves as athletes and taken on a healthy, active lifestyle both in and out of the gym.Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself or something that would surprise us. We are Keyla and Ismael (Ish). We were born and raised in Puerto Rico. We were introduced by mutual friends in high school and started dating. We’ve been married for 17 years and have two kids, Dayane who has started high school, and Omar who has started first grade. We’ve made Houston our home since 1999, but we always travel back to our hometown to spend Christmas with our family. Growing up we were always involved in sports (track and field, softball, volleyball, baseball, basketball), and we were very competitive. After we got married, things started to change; work, stress and bad eating habits ended in weight gain. We always tried to exercise but noticed that losing weight wasn’t as easy as it used to be when we were in our 20’s. For years we’ve been trying to figure out how to lose weight and be healthy but never cross through our minds that we could start to learn how to do it by doing CrossFit.
How and when were you introduced to Behemoth?
Keyla: Ish started talking to me about Behemoth but at that time I was too busy with work, and being a mom. Honestly, I didn’t think it was a fit for me; but he knows me well and assured me that I was going to like it. It wasn’t until a year had passed that I got tired and frustrated of going to the YMCA and seeing no result that I decided to give it a tried. I walk into Behemoth after a Saturday workout not even knowing how the coach looked and someone directed me to Aja. After completing my intro class, I was ready to join Behemoth.
Ish: Driving by and saw the sign outside (back when it was a single bay door box), I looked it up online and sent an email. Came in about 2 weeks after that for the intro class and I couldn’t even finish the warmup. That is when I realize in how out of shape I was. It took me a couple years to come back as I promised Aryan and Aja back then.
What are you most proud of, physically, mentally or both since beginning with us?
Keyla: I have to say that I am proud of both. Physically, I’m impressed of how fast I can recover immediately after a workout. I’m proud of my performance improvement and I’m starting to see the physical changes as well. Mentally, I’m no longer afraid of how tough the workout will be; I’m learning to think that if I try to do something I can, and if for any reason it is not possible at the moment that doesn’t discourage me to try it the next time.
Ish: I could say both but, for me the mental aspect has totally changed since I started here. I am doing new things that I didn’t think I could do, and that’s the most important part to me.
Without knowing anything about Crossfit, it was all about the location and how close is to our house. The more engaged we got into the sport, the more we realized how lucky we are to have Behemoth in our neighborhood. At first, it was all about the location, then, became all about the coaching, and now is all about the Behemoth family.
What next? What are you excited about pursuing here in the future?
Keyla: I’m working towards improving the technique in my lifts and getting to do the workouts at the prescribed weight. Also, I’m excited to continue learning about nutrition to improve my quality of life, and continue getting healthier and stronger.
Ish: Continue working on my endurance and learning about this new lifestyle for us. Also, my goal is to do my first sprint triathlon at 40 years old.
“3, 2, 1…Go” Mad Lib section
My favorite lift (movement) is…
Keyla: Backsquat and deadlift.
Ish: Snatch and deadlift.
My most frequent class I come to is…
Ish: Used to be 6PM and now is 7PM, also 9:30AM Fridays
I have always wanted to…
Keyla: Travel around the world.
Ish: Sail the World, do a Sprint Triathlon and Diving (getting certified as you read this).
When I’m not crushing weights, my favorite thing to do is…
Keyla: I love to spend time with the family and travel.
Ish: Coaching and watching baseball, plus photography is the new hobby.
Favorite “application of fitness” outside of the gym is…
Ish: Keeping up with our son Omar (baseball) and swimming.
Favorite Pandora station…
Keyla: Latin music, 80’s
Ish: Salsa (Latin Music)/Juan Luis Guerra
Beast mode engaged when this song comes on…
Keyla: Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)
Ish: Thunderstruck (AC/DC), La Cosquillita (Juan Luis Guerra)