1. Were you active prior to CrossFit?
I have always been an athlete – from when I was a child through high school I played soccer and ran track. In college, I started running as my primary mode of exercise. It took me awhile to really enjoy running, and then I started doing races and ran my first half marathon in 2010. I loved the challenge of running longer distances, but then I realized I wanted some diversity in my workouts. I started doing hot yoga and strength training along with running which is what I was doing prior to joining Vitality.
2. When did you first start doing CrossFit?
Officially, I joined CFV in September 2011. Unofficially, my boyfriend was training me in some CrossFit style workouts for a year prior to joining a CrossFit gym. I was very closed-minded to joining a CrossFit gym at first, and I had a misconception of what it would be like (super competitive, way too intense, filled with meat-heads). When I had to move from Virginia Beach to North Carolina for work, my boyfriend encouraged me to join (actually he dragged me into) CrossFit Vitality. I’ll never forget my first day at CFV – a Saturday WOD that was partner style Fight Gone Bad. I was paired with Adam and we ended up winning, which was totally embarrassing for me because I had no clue what I was doing most of the time (he was just working double time)! All of the members were shocked and wondered who were these weird visitors who came in and won FGB?!
3. What were your thoughts after your first workout?
My first thought was, “GOSH Adam why did you have to make us win – that was so embarrassing!” After I got over myself, I thought, that was actually pretty amazing. The people were really warm and from different stages of life, which really made me believe that I could do this. The workout was so challenging, diverse, and effective in a shorter period of time than I was used to working out.
4. What do you enjoy the most about CrossFit?
Joining CFV helped me in so many ways to get adjusted to a new life in North Carolina and to meet some really amazing people. I love the CFV community and genuine support I receive from the other members and coaches. When Adam was deployed to Afghanistan for 4 months, I had so much support from the people at CFV. They were constantly checking in with me and asking how Adam was doing. I thought it would be difficult to be away from the support of my friends and other military spouses/ significant others in Virginia, but being a member at CFV was the #1 thing that got me through that deployment. I truly looked forward to my workouts every day. I work in the mental health field so I take it seriously to practice what I preach and take care of myself both physically and emotionally. Having a healthy way to vent emotion and stress while being able to connect with others is invaluable.
My absolute favorite part of CFV is the endurance class. I am so challenged and inspired by Jess and the other members in that class. I look forward to Monday and Wednesday nights more than any other class.
5. What were your goals when you first started? What are they now?
Initially, I wanted to get stronger and feel more confident with lifting heavy weights. Running had been my comfort for so long that I wanted to develop my skills in the foundational movements. I also wanted to lose about 5-10 pounds that I had gained when I moved to North Carolina and started working my first “big girl” job. Once I got more comfortable with lifting, I wanted to get a kipping pull-up and add more endurance classes to my workouts. I am finally able to do a kipping pull-up (I’ll never forget how excited I was when I was finally able to get my first couple in a row). A major goal of mine is to continue to challenge myself mentally and push out of my comfort zone. Most of the hurdles I encounter in CrossFit (and in life) are 90% mental. When I overcome them, it not only shows that I’m getting physically stronger, but more importantly that I’m so much stronger mentally than I give myself credit for. This helps to build my confidence. Another goal that I have right now is to prevent injury. I was dealing with a mild shoulder issue a few months ago and it’s finally feeling normal again. I try my best to focus on stretching and mobility pre and post WOD in order to prevent myself from aggravating my shoulder or any other muscle.
6. What is your favorite CrossFit movement?
Front squat & dead lifts
7. What is your least favorite movement?
Toes to bar, double unders (ouch! I constantly whip myself with the rope), and wall balls.
8. What kind of nutrition plan do you follow and has that changed since you started CrossFit?
Prior to CrossFit, I ate pretty clean – mostly fruits, veggies, dairy, beans, lean meats, few grains. But I really cleaned up my diet when the 6-week Paleo challenge came around. I thought it would be devastating to lose my dairy and oatmeal, but I was determined to give Paleo a fair chance and stayed strict on the diet for 6-weeks. I was amazed at how much I didn’t miss the things I thought I would. I found Paleo alternatives for the things I loved (Paleo-oatmeal is amazing!) and I was never hungry. I saw some pretty good results from the 6-week challenge and have stayed eating about 85-90% Paleo since it ended. I have lost 5lbs since January, and even what’s even better is that it taught me to be more mindful of what I put in my body. I feel better about what I’m eating and feel I’ve made a sustainable lifestyle change that also enhances my fitness performance.
9. Talk about your results from doing CrossFit?
As a result of joining CFV 6 months ago, I have become so much more confident in myself and my fitness abilities. I used to have a much narrower mindset as to how a woman could/should workout. CrossFit has challenged me so much by showing me I can do much more than I once thought and not become too bulky (as I once feared). I always wanted to maintain a feminine look and thought running was the only way to stay fit without putting on “too much” muscle. Now I see how wrong I was! The women at CFV inspire me so much to push myself and see beauty in a different light. I am doing things I never imagined myself doing (flipping tires, hand stand push ups, kipping pull ups, crawling like a bear, and walking like a duck) and I’m loving it more all the time. It’s amazing what we can do when we allow ourselves to be open to something new and take a chance. I’m excited to see where I’ll be 6-months from now!