Meet Whitney

Taz Barber Outsider Interviews

This world is full of people pushing themselves, unlearning harmful beliefs and behaviors, following their curiosity, and just trying to do their part to love life and leave the world better than they found it. If they can do it, so can you, so can we. Because we’re all in this together, and we’re tougher than we think.

In this week’s Outsider Interview, we’d like to introduce you to Whitney.

If you could pick another eye color for yourself, which would you choose?
My eyes are brown, but I’ve always wished they were green. Luckily, I’ve got a guy with hazel eyes, so I get to look at his.

It’s your birthday and you get to have anything for dinner you want. What are we eating?
Fried green tomatoes, tacos built with handmade tortillas, a colorful slaw (love making these), and homemade peach or strawberry ice cream.

Thanks for putting that into my mind. Everything in my fridge is disappointing me now.

Where did you grow up? And where are you now?
Montevallo, Alabama. After 10 years of traveling and living all over the US, I’m back in my hometown trying to turn my family’s land into a regenerative ag / no-dig farm in my free time. It’s totally chill. 😉

Are you a Minimalist/Generalist/Enthusiast?
Minimalist with a couple of kettlebells

What’s your typical workout environment?
A corner of the garage, crammed between tools and chicken feed. There’s a rolling shelf on top of where I workout with bins that organize all of our recycling (which we have to sort ourselves and drive to a nearby recycling center), so when I work out, I roll all the shelving and bins out of the way. Suuuuuuper glamorous.

What’s been your best workout gear investment?
We found padded flooring at a yard sale and that has been such an upgrade for me. I feel much more comfortable lunging and doing sit-ups, push-ups, and planks.

If we took a look at your workout playlist, what songs would we find?
I’m pretty into the “Swagger” station on Spotify lately. As for specific songs, Barns Courtney’s “Fire” and “Glitter and Gold” give me that extra sumthin’ when I’m struggling to get through a workout. Which is about two minutes into it.

What’s your workout routine like?
I wish I could say that I had a routine but I don’t. For now, I aim for 2 workouts a week because we grow a lot of our own food and we’re kickstarting a farm, which is a lot of labor in itself. Mornings are best because the garage is a lot cooler in the wee hours (summer in Alabama is a teensy bit warm). Around 3pm seems to be another good time for me because that’s when I start to get antsy or sleepy if I’ve been sitting at the computer all day.

Which movements make your body smile? And which ones do you wish you could banish from the program forever?
Love deadlifts, kettlebell swings, farmers carries and push-ups. They’re simple (mechanically) and my body likes ‘em. Wish I had a rower.

As for my frenemies…thrusters and wall balls…why, just why?!? Add devils presses and mountain climbers to the no-thank-you list too.

If you could workout with anyone, who would you choose?
Keanu Reeves. Because…ALL the reasons.

What’s your biggest obstacle to consistently working out? And how do you overcome it?
It’s weird because I really love being active and playing team sports. I love movement, hate to sit still. You’d think I’d be the person showing up to the gym no matter what. But working out solo? Meh…not so much. I come up with thirty seven reasons why I should skip the workout today and do it tomorrow.

My why for working out is that I want to be fit enough to do the things that bring me joy: gardening/farming, paddleboarding, canoeing, swimming, adventuring in the woods. People depend on me being healthy enough to do farm chores and then go have some fun. As I’ve been doing those things more often lately, the people and the activities hold me accountable. It’s a bit of a slap in the face to struggle to load kayaks on the truck, or turn a massive compost pile, when you’re weak. It sucks. There’s no way to pretty it up, really. So, to keep consistent and motivated, I’ve had to find ways to bring more of that accountability into my life. Sometimes that’s through people, and sometimes it’s through activities.

We believe fitness is about what we can do with our bodies. What do you want to do with your fitness?
I love being outside. Walking trails, playing in the water, staking tomatoes, I’m down.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Owning my stuff. Which means analyzing my behaviors, taking responsibility for myself, being less defensive when I’m being called out, apologizing, making amends, and trying to do better. In a nutshell, I’ve tried to stop blaming others (and the world) for where I’m at in life.

What have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)?
I’m trying to get much better about setting boundaries and protecting my time. One of my biggest tendencies is to sacrifice fun/me time for work, which is like sacrificing your body or mental health for the possibility of making a little more money or being a little more productive. I’ll skip a workout to answer emails. I’ll skip a walk in the woods to write a blog post. So, I have to protect that time from myself for myself.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Go to the woods or to the water. No devices. Just the sounds of birds and wind through the trees. That always sets me right.

If you could re-experience a book/movie/tv-show/song/album for the first time, what would it be?
Harry Potter book series. #HufflepuffForLife

We’re all weird. What’s one unusual habit or thing you do?
Gah. I mean, where do I start? One thing that stands out in my mind is that I talk to myself a lot. Like a whole lot. In front of people, even. It’s something those close to me have accepted, I guess.

What made you go Outside the Box?
I’m part of the team here at OTB. 🙂 But, I’m also a 40-min drive from the nearest CrossFit affiliate, and that’s just too far for me right now, with everything else that needs to be done. A garage gym program where I can use dumbbells for all the workouts has been a game changer for me. Logically, I understand that I need to work out for my own health, but I need quick workouts that I can do at home if I actually want to work some fitness into my week. OTB gives me structure and makes fitness feel more convenient or doable.

Get to know this community a little bit better by reading through some of our Outsider Interviews. We’re a wolf pack. A band of misfits. Peas in a pod. And we stay gold.

Taz Barber Editor
Co-Founder / Semi-Nomadic Programmer
I’m the one you love to hate — I am the master programmer here at OTB, which means I’m the one making you do all those burpees and all that running. #Sorrynotsorry. If it makes you feel better, I’m doing it too. I’m an outnumbered mamma (3 boys) and wife to Pat, and my other true loves are the ocean and cooking tasty meals inspired by our travels.