How/when did you get involved in CrossFit?
My first experience with CrossFit was in a small town in rural Massachusetts about 2013. I was on a business trip with a business partner. She had encouraged me to give it a try. I did so and enjoyed it. From the community aspect to the practicality of being strong, it just made sense to me. When I got back to the city, I joined the second closest cross fit gym to my apartment, which I’m sure is still around. It was a fantastic experience! I got very fit (for me) and looked/felt great. Then life happened, Unfortunately, and I fell off the horse for a couple of years, but then I found you!
Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
Yes. My first workout would have been in Massachusetts. All I remember is that we were in groups of 2 and it involves running outside with military-like sandbag things on our backs. I enjoyed working out with a partner! It was at this point that I started to do much research on CrossFit, which involved watching inspirational videos on YouTube. At this point, I was already a believer.
How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
Having been on both sides of the spectrum (I was once 280lbs, and I was also 175lbs in the prime of my acting career), I know what it is like to feel great and feel attractive, I also know the opposite. At 41 years old, this journey has been much slower, and more frustrating, however, I know it’s helping. Since I’ve been consistent with my workouts, I feel more alert, I sleep better, I’ve decreased my heartburn symptoms, my knees are slowly getting stronger, and my shoulders are acting up less. Honestly, it’s just fun to see my pants get looser in the waist and my shirts get tighter in the arms and chest.
My overall health has also improved. I no longer get swollen ankles or tingly feet, both symptoms of early onset diabetes. I’ve also learned a lot about food having been introduced to Paleo and Whole 30, thanks to you. Because of this, I’ve been more mindful of what I eat. With Origins Meals I feel like I’m on a new track, which is very exciting.
Above all the physical benefits, inside and out, I feel better and better in my mind. I have noticed that consistent exercise offers me an overall better outlook on life in general, my attitude towards relationships with others, my desire to be social, in my overall feeling that everything’s going to be OK as opposed to doom and gloom. I feel a much stronger inner peace with CrossFit in my life.
Favourite lift and WOD?
Lift: Deadlift. I think. It just feels good to lift a lot of damn weight. I also like to row, do bench press, strict shoulder press, and arm curl TABATA!
WOD: No clue. However, I do tend to like the ones with several different movements, a WOD that leaves no body part ignored. Also, WOD-in-Flow is excellent. It helps me address my weakness, which is most aspects of Yoga, without having to do yoga for a full hour. 😊
What about your least favorite?
Lift: Anything to do with my legs, namely the squat. More specifically, I’d say thrusters. Frankly, my knees suck, and squats aggravate them, unfortunately. However, my doctor told me a few years ago that if I had any hope of making my knees work better for me, I would need to strengthen my quads and increase the flexibility in my hamstrings. He assured me that both would not be easy or comfortable, but worth it. So true. Although I put this my the least favorite category I love the results. It’s a love/hate relationship I have with squats.
WOD: Nothing specific. They’re all great, and they’re all hell. Ha!
What are your fitness/health goals?
First, to keep this train moving forward, to keep showing up. Second, I’d like to trim my fat down, which would help me look/feel better. I want to wear a size 34 waisted pair of jeans again someday. More specific fitness goals would be to be able to do 8-10 strict pull-ups. (Yes, that is how far I let myself go. Sigh.) There is something about being able to lift my body weight in the different ways CrossFit suggest that appeals to me. Also, to firm up my belly a bit.
Is there a specific diet or nutritional habit that helps you with your goals?
Yes. These Origin Meals are a game changer. I’m eating way more vegetables than I used to and my portion control, something that I was never very good with, is now effortless. I simply eat what is there, and I’m done. Simple. (Now, if only I made more money I wouldn’t feel so irresponsible doing it… but that is for a different conversation.)
What motivates you?
I’ve been where I want to be. I know how it feels. I know how I look. I know how others interact with me differently. What motivates me is the desire to get all back, except this time I want to be proud of it, I want to enjoy it more. I’ll tell ya; youth really is wasted on the young. 😉
Do you have any advice for new members?
Don’t think these WODs ever get easier. I feel that mantra very misleading, and simply not true. However, they do get more fun.
Also, just show up. If that means you just watch or stretch or whatever, just show up. It doesn’t matter how hungover and under-slept you are, just show up. Do something. Getting your mind and body to feel comfortable at the gym requires repetition. If you take a week or two off, you feel like your going into an unfamiliar place, which is uncomfortable. Shame and excuses set in. Not good! Just show up.
It’s ok to modify! Don’t say you “can’t” do something, say, “I currently struggle with…So I will do this to help me get there…” Moreover, you will…
This is not a get ripped and lean in a few weeks type of thing. If you want it to be, you’ll be very frustrated with yourself and CrossFit. This is a lifestyle shift. Give yourself a break. Take it one day at a time. The changes will occur soon enough.
For the first few months, focus on technique, not the amount of weight you are lifting. When you start, lift lighter than you want so you can learn the techniques without hurting yourself. By building this foundation, you will stave off injury and improve flexibility. This advice was given to me when I first started. Just last week a new coach ran one of our WODS (sorry, I can’t remember his name. He’s young and very fit.) and multiple times he complimented my technique and range of motion. If felt good.
What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
Most of this I covered in the goals question above. To add to it, I’d like to do all workouts at or above female RX. By 2020(1?) I’d want to be at male RX. Sooner than that I’d want to be able to do 15 burpees in a row without stopping. I want to be able to do 50 pushups in a row. I want to be able to plank for 5 minutes. I’d like to get better at Yoga. Overall, keep gaining muscle and losing fat.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you. Thank you for being cool. You both are lovely people. I wish you, your family, and your business all the success and joy possible. Perhaps because I’m a small business ower, but I’m oddly happy for you both when I see new members join, and oddly sad for you when they leave. For what it may be worth, if you ever need help with anything, gym related or not, let me know. If I can help, I will. Cheers.