Helen Bowen


Tell us a little about yourself

I've been married to Alan Bowen, also a Coyote member, for 10 years and have two sons, Kelly Bass, who is married to Julia, and John-David Bass, also a Coyote member.  I'm a pianist, vocalist and have been the Director of Music at my church, St. Luke's United Methodist in Fondren for 30 years. I also accompany 3 school choirs: Olde Towne Middle School, Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School. I retired in 2012 from Madison County Schools after 27 years of teaching elementary music.  Alabama Football is my favorite sport to watch! ROLL TIDE!!  I love tennis as well and hope to start playing again soon.  I adore dogs and have 3: a Shih Tzu, who is 18, a Schnoodle, who is my baby, and a black Lab mix, who is a rescue.  

Any Special Memories from your time at Coyote?

I'll never forget the first time I was able to jump rope again.  I literally could not make my body jump off the ground at the beginning. I also couldn't do one sit up, so Chris put 50# weights on top of my feet to help me. When I did the first sit ups without the weights, I think I cried again-this time for joy!  When I lifted over 100 pounds the first time, it was so exciting and I got hooked on lifting. A few weeks ago, I was able to hang from a bar for almost 10 seconds.  That doesn't sound like a big deal probably, but it's huge for me!  There have been so many big milestones, that I can't remember them all.

has crossfit affected your life outside of the gym?

I can function so much better-physically and mentally! Life is hard! Everybody needs to workout to relieve that stress in order to find happiness!  I know without a doubt that God led me into Coyote that day in June 2015.  Chris was at the desk and the passion that he had for Crossfit reached out to me.  I didn't think I had enough money to do it, but I did it anyway and it changed my life in so many ways for the better!

What advice would you give to someone just starting crossfit?

LISTEN TO THE COACHES AND DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAY!  Also, get rid of negative self talk and try to be patient with yourself.  Chris told me this: "Would you talk that way to John-David or your friends? Then, don't do it to yourself."  Such wise counsel!

what were you doing before crossfit?

NOTHING!! I was depressed.  I worked 3 jobs most of my working life and was exhausted when I retired from teaching.  I basically sat down for 3 years, did my church job and ate.  I was the biggest I had ever been in my life and could barely walk up the stairs from my office at church to the organ bench in the choir loft.  It was awful!

whats something we might not know about you?

I raised horses most of my young life and really miss riding!  I loved singing in the Mississippi Opera in the 1980's.  The actor, Judge Reinhold, from The Santa Clause movies, came to my class in 1996 and helped my kids learn more about acting as we prepared our annual musical.  His nephew was my student at the time.  It was great fun!

what were your goals when you joined coyote?

Hunter told our On Ramp class that he was going to ask us our reason for joining at the end of the 2 weeks.  My reason was simply not to die young.  I wanted to lose weight and feel strong again.

have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes! I lost 45 pounds in about 9 months and felt so much better physically and mentally!  However, I have had some set backs.  I had to have emergency surgery for a strangulated umbilical hernia that I had for many years and had to have half my abdomen covered with mesh.  I was out of Crossfit for almost 4 months and got depressed again, slipped back into some old bad habits and gained some of the weight back during recovery. Chris helped me start again very slowly and little by little with much scaling to the WODS, I was back on the right path. Then in late 2017, I started having severe pain going down the back of my left leg into to the back of my knee. Chris told me to see a physical therapist, Dr. Bill Thomas, who found that my lower spine is compressed some because of a broken tail bone I got in 2009. Between that and the piriformis muscle irritating my sciatic nerve, I could not bend my leg and it would give out. I had to be out again for 3 months for treatment.  Dr. Thomas helped me so much and gave me stretches and special ab exercises to do. Once he released me to come back to class, I started over again and with Chris and Hunter's help, patience and excellent training I am able to do most things without pain!  I'm feeling strong and am starting to lose weight again!  I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT THEM AND AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HELP IN MY LIFE!

what were your thoughts after your first workout?

I could hardly breathe, had to take my inhaler for asthma and was disgusted with myself.  I couldn't believe that I had let myself get that way. I cried because I felt so terrible about myself.

what is your favorite workout?

I guess I should say "Helen" of course! 

When did you start Crossfit?

June 2015

what is your favorite cheat meal?

Papitos Fiesta Chicken at Margaritas and chocolate

What is your least favorite workout?

One with a lot of Wall Balls

What is your least favorite lift?


what is your favorite lift?

Back Squat