1. Were you active prior to CrossFit?
The best way to describe my previous activity would be “intermittent”. I hated any aerobic activity, particularly running, but I did have quite a bit of weightlifting equipment in my basement. I’d use it on and off, frequently breaking promises to myself that I’d lose weight and get back in shape. I had no illusions that I’d return to the shape I was in when I was 23 and competed in a college bodybuilding contest, but I kept trying to find the motivation to exercise regularly so I’d feel more mentally and physically energetic.
2. When did you first start doing CrossFit?
March 29, 2010, was my first CrossFit workout. I was part of the original “Garage Gang”, doing the foundations class in Steve and Jess' garage gym because the current location wasn’t finished. Then, I participated in their Grand Opening class on April 10, 2010 and just kept coming back. First, I had a one month membership, then a 3 month membership, then a year. I just renewed for another year! It took me a little while to realize that I really could “do” CrossFit and that I would stick with it, but I'm really hooked!
3. What were your thoughts after your first workout?
“This is fun! This HURTS! I can't do this; wait – yes I can; wait – no, i probably can't! Boy, I'm even more out of shape than I thought! I hate, hate, hate running and I hate running in the 90 degree heat even more! Will I go back for the second class???? I guess I’ll give myself another chance at this: let’s see what happens.“
4. What do you enjoy the most about CrossFit?
That’s a hard question to answer because there’s so much that I love about CrossFit! I’ll have to list a couple of things. First, I love the fantastic community that Steve and Jess have built at CFV and the wonderful people there who celebrate with each other’s successes and commiserate with the difficulties – both in and out of the gym! Second, I love that I can almost always think of something that’s gone well in a WOD (e.g., did three more consecutive toes to bar today than last week) and something upon which I’d like to improve (still can’t squat clean the prescribed weight). Third, I love that all I have to do is to show up for a WOD and work really hard at it – no thinking or planning required.
Those are the things that are most significant to me right now, but, really, I love pretty much everything about CrossFit and CFV!!!
5. What were your goals when you first started? What are they now?
When I started, I really wanted to lose weight, regain some muscle tone, and improve my capacity to do normal, everyday activities without excess fatigue or breathlessness. For the most part, I’d say that I’ve achieved these goals; I’ve lost about 40 pounds of mostly fat, definitely improved muscle tone and dramatically increased my work capacity. The latter is evident to me both inside and outside the gym!
Currently, my over-arching goal is to do most workouts as prescribed. I love to write my name in red in the left-hand column on the board, even if I often have the slowest times and/or the fewest reps. I’m working to string together a few kipping pull-ups and some double unders, improve technique and increase strength with the Olympic lifts, and practice pose running form so I put less stress on my joints. Maximizing recovery between workouts and utilizing minimal rest appropriately during workouts are also important goals for me. I’d still like to lose another 10 pounds or so and I’d like to get faster at everything!
Another goal that I think I’ll always be working on relates to the mental side of CrossFit: it’s really easy to get down on myself because I’m not as good or fast as everyone else. I really have to work at: a) doing MY OWN best and not constantly comparing myself to others; and b) getting “out of my head” during workouts so my thoughts don’t defeat the hard work that my body is doing.
Finally, I want to continue CrossFitting forever!
6. What is your favorite CrossFit movement?
Overhead squats, kettlebell swings, deadlifts and slamballs are some of my favorites.
7. What is your least favorite movement?
When I started CrossFit, I always said that “thrusters are evil!” particularly when done in conjunction with running. I still feel that way, but have since added squat cleans and snatches to my list of “evil” exercises. Whole body movements that require explosiveness and careful attention to form are incredibly effective, but also really, really challenging for me.
8. What kind of nutrition plan do you follow and has that changed since you started CrossFit?
Shortly after starting CrossFit, my eating habits changed dramatically. Working out with such intensity really showed me the vital link between nutrition and physical performance: although it’s something that I knew intellectually, the challenge of the workouts brought it home to me in a way that nothing else ever has. Suddenly, it wasn’t about dieting anymore. It was about eating foods that would allow me to get better at CrossFit and life!
First, I started following the Zone plan. The “bloc