Damary Toledo

by Cinthia Almeraz on Jul 14, 2020

Damary Toledo

I was never an athlete when I was younger. I think I was too angry and found my outlet in negative situations at school. It wasn't until my twenties when my husband and I started dating that I became interested in fitness. He brought a sense of calm to my soul where I could focus on other things. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. I tried several different things like kick boxing, kung fu, and boxing. But nothing I really stuck to.

Twelve years ago, I had a back fusion on my L5 S1, something they call a Pars Defect. My doctor warned me that heavy lifting wasn't in my future. Boy, was he wrong!

Shortly after my recovery, I tried a CrossFit class and fell in love with mental and body challenge of the sport. This is what inspired my husband and I to open the gym. 

As the years in the gym rolled by, my husband and kids started to gravitate towards the Olympic lifting side of the sport. They would spend a lot more time on the platforms than I did but one afternoon, my daughter convinced me into joining her on the platform. We had the best time cheering each other on and talking smack to one another. Since then I don't remember exactly when I completely transferred over, but I have never regretted it. My first competition was an AAU comp that I won my first medal in. I later competed in a couple of locals that earned me some experience. Those locals qualified me for some national events like the American Open Series that take place around the U.S. In turn, those events have qualified me for some pretty important comps for Master athletes like the Pan American Championship and the Worlds Masters Championships. I am working towards making that happen again in 2021 with the Kansas World Masters Games in Japan.

It's definitely a lot of work both mentally and physically to be able to compete in this sport. That's what makes it so special and worth while at my age

I grew up in Miami, Florida and had a pretty rough childhood. So when I was older and my music career ended, I decided I wanted to work with children. I wanted to show the kids I worked with they were safe and that it was a positive thing to be themselves. 

I went into teaching and decided for the elementary years. It would be a great starting point and hopefully, I could help create good habits for them that would stick.

After eight years of teaching, my husband and I decided to open our own CrossFit gym. My main focus again was to create a safe environment for kids and adults to be themselves without feeling judged. We were successful for eight and half years. Unfortunately,  things got rough and we closed our doors in March 2020. Project Fitness recruited me shortly after, to help with the kids program. I was very happy to do. I am currently doing both, teaching in the classroom and coaching in the gym. I have the best of both worlds now!

My goal will always be to help create a safe environment where children feel good about being who they are or want to be. 

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