Davis finds strength from within to achieve lifelong dream

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 15, 2017

CrossFit can be intimidating to those new to the gym experience, just like it was to Poplarville High School cheerleader Tatum Davis a little over a year ago. After weeks of invitations by the owner of CrossFit 534, Davis decided to lace up the workout shoes and begin her journey that would eventually lead her to fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams, competing in a pageant.

In the early months of 2015, Davis was approached by one of her mother’s coworkers, who also owned a CrossFit gym in Poplarville.

“She told me that if I ever wanted to give [CrossFit] a try, to let her know and she would walk me through the routines. But it all seemed so scary at first, so I kept pushing it off,” she said.

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Davis said her reluctance was due to her confidence level, which at the time was low. But with the help of gym owner Lauren Steil, she decided to give it a try, but on one condition.

“I wanted to do private sessions with Lauren just so I could see what it was all about and not embarrass myself,” Davis said. She underwent two weeks of private training lessons until making a life-changing discovery.

“After joining in the big sessions, I saw that CrossFit gyms aren’t filled with only extremely fit people doing crazy stunts around the gym. In fact, most of them were like me, out of shape people who are looking to better their lives. That made a huge difference to me,” she said.

Day after day, Davis came into the gym and put in the effort to get the results she wanted. The hardest part of the transition was getting used to the new workouts, and, most of all, the daily soreness.

Before she gave CrossFit a try, Davis said her cheerleading workout regime consisted of mostly cardio and basic exercises like push ups and crunches. Although the transition was challenging, Davis became more passionate about her fitness each time she walked into the gym.

With one year of CrossFit under her belt, Davis said her life has already changed for the better. Davis said although she lost over 30 pounds, she has gained something even more valuable.

“I’ve got confidence I never thought I would have because of CrossFit,” Davis said. “I’m stronger with cheer, I actually enjoy running and I just feel amazing every day.”

She added that the boost of confidence was just what she needed to fulfill her dream of competing in a pageant, an opportunity that presented itself in May in the 2017 Pearl River County Miss Blueberry pageant.

“You know, I’ve always wanted to do a pageant, but never felt confident enough. I never thought I could actually win, so I didn’t bother participating. But after the first year of my CrossFit journey, I finally felt like I could actually do it, and win. I felt prepared and confident walking on a stage in front of people,” she said.

During the pageant, Davis described her CrossFit journey to the judges, which she said piqued their interest in the Poplarville High School cheerleader.

Then, after a long day of competing, the results were announced.

“I won. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited just to go out there and compete, but to actually win my first pageant . . . there’s no words to describe how happy I was,” Davis said.

With her confidence boosted, Davis said she wants to continue cheerleading when she goes to college, but has yet to make a decision on the campus she will attend. Davis did mention that she narrowed her selections down to two schools, Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I can’t thank everyone enough that’s been involved in my journey through this first year. Their support has shown me to not be scared and has changed my life forever,” Davis said.