When did you first start CrossFitting?:
What is your favorite movement? Favorite workout?
Wow! So many to pick from. Wall Balls are fun. And I like partner workouts.
What is your least favorite movement? Least favorite workout?
Running. But it’s okay, because I can row, instead of running. I can’t think of a “least favorite workout.” Except that I really dislike working outside when the weather is hot.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
I was always an athletic kid. I played soccer & softball. Then as a young adult I began weight training. I have been in pretty good shape most of my life. I would regularly attend your basic type of gym, using free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines, such as stairmaster & elliptical. At one point in my early 30’s, I had a personal trainer for a couple of years. Unfortunately, I became a cubicle drone and my fitness started to decline about 10 years prior to joining CrossFit.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Do you remember your first WOD? How did it go?
When I moved to Durham in June 2014, I knew that I wanted to join a gym. I was thinking of joining the YMCA, but hesitant knowing that I am the type of person that gets bored easily, and might not get the benefits I needed by working out at a traditional style of gym.
I had heard about CrossFit a couple of years ago, but I never really knew exactly what it was all about. So when I saw a deal on Living Social, I decided to check it out. I went to a Community Workout. It practically did me in….however, I signed up for the bootcamp anyways. Can’t remember what the exact workouts were in the beginning. All I remember is that afterwards, I could barely walk up the stairs at home…for days! This was the case for about a month, back in the beginning, after every bootcamp class.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
Nearly 2 years before CrossFit I had reached the heaviest weight ever in my life. In November of 2013, I was shocked after visiting my doctor, to learn that I was considered “obese,” because I weighed in at 184 lbs and I am 5’6.” It was really quite devasting because I guess I was in denial up to that point. So then I tried eating more healthily, and started to exercise moderately. As of this same time last year, I had managed on my own to lose some weight. By the time I joined CrossFit (08/2014) I weighed 156 lbs. Now it makes me very happy to report that I have dropped from size 16 to size 8, and I have reached my goal of 130 lbs. I have never felt better in my life, both physically and mentally.
What impact has CrossFit had on your life?
CrossFit has had many impacts on my life. It’s become a social outlet, a routine that I look forward too, and most importantly, boosted my self confidence. However, there is something much more important, regarding the manner in which CrossFit has changed my life- I’ve been told by my doctors that CrossFit actually SAVED my life. I was sidelined by an unforeseen cardiac event, this past January. I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital because the paramedics thought that I was having a heart attack. The cardiology team then rushed me to the “Cath Lab,” where they performed an emergency angioplasty, A blockage was found in a vein in my heart, and I required a stent. I was told afterwards that I didn’t really suffer a heart attack, which was great because I did not sustain any permanent heart damage. I had experienced “Acute Coronary Syndrome.” The rest of my heart is fine and free of any plaque, my cholesterol is perfect, I just happen to have bad heart genes on my Mom’s side of the family. So when I asked my doctors why was the pain so bad, if I didn’t have a real heart attack, and how do people not notice such things, and go straight to heart attack mode? The response was this: because I was so fit….that people who are not fit do not receive pain signals when they have blockages in the heart until usually when it is too late. The doctors actually told me, “CrossFit saved your life.” It was a wake up call that I will never forget.
What is your favorite CrossFit/CFD moment?
In hindsight, I guess my favorite moment was when I realized that I was not as sore after my workouts. And I’m referring to the debilitating barely able to walk up the stairs type of sore, as opposed to normal & good type of sore. There were also other great moments like being able to do sit ups, jump rope, & burpees….all of which I could NOT do when I first started bootcamp.
What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit?
Even if you try it, and it’s really hard in the beginning, please stick with it. I guarantee you it gets easier, and better the longer you continue to attend classes. I would also point out that there are things one can get from CrossFit , that one wouldn’t usually get from a regular gym: camaraderie, structure, fun, motivation, & never the same workout….variety truly is the spice of life!
What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love traveling. Especially to foreign lands. But a simple road trip is also fun for me, even if I am by myself. I live for traveling. Other things I am passionate about are motorcycles, film photography, and soccer. And I love spending time with my family and my dogs.