1. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
AUNDREA: Prior to CrossFit the only thing I ever really did in an attempt to stay fit was some treadmill work now and then. Stuff that wasn’t really doing anything for me, both physically and mentally. It got really boring and I never looked forward to going to the gym. At the time my Mom had been going to CFJ and they were starting a kids summer program. I decided to try something new and give it a shot. Plus, I already knew that CFJ was both a great box and a great community, from my Mom’s experience with it. At the time of the summer camp I was 11 years old. I really enjoyed the summer camp and it definitely made me realize how lame the treadmill is. Roughly a year after attending the summer camp my parents wanted me to start regular CrossFit classes. To be honest, I was more timid than excited about it. I would watch WOD’s and think to myself that I could never in my lifetime do something as cool as that. I have now been attending CrossFit classes regularly since summer of 2013. I have NEVER enjoyed working out this much in my life. Day by day I become less timid (although I will admit, that it is still a challenge for me to this day) and I’m more excited about to going to the box. The challenging, varied workouts are part of what makes the whole experience so exciting, not to mention the amazing community and atmosphere. I never thought I would embrace physical pain, yet I’m enjoying the burn of squats more than ever!
JOSIAH: Prior to CrossFit I did I guess what you could call normal workouts. I did maybe ten push-ups, ten pull-ups, and some ten pound curls. I never really pushed myself and did not care much about working out. My routines became repetitive and boring and I lost interest in working out. Before I started CrossFit I stayed away from athletics and spent most of my time playing video games. Every once in a while I would get outside and play kickball but I never committed myself to any sports. I didn’t really care for athletics. To be truthful I never really wanted to start CrossFit, I remember going to a class with my mom and seeing all the people there doing crazy lifts and I thought to myself, jeez these people are crazy! It wasn’t until summer rolled along that my mom told me I needed to try CrossFit. CrossFit Julia was having a summer kids class and my mom was going to be a coach. I wasn’t very excited to try it out but it helped a couple of my friends were going to start out with me. I wouldn’t be alone in having to suffer through the pain of lifting heavy weights and working out. After the first class I found that it wasn’t as bad as I thought (that was before I started the adult classes). Every class I grew more and more in my liking of it and I started lifting more heavy weights and doing more workout moves in a wod than I thought possible. After a while I became addicted. I have my mom to thank for pushing me to start at CrossFit Julia, it is something I will always be thankful for and never regret.
2. What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?
AUNDREA: One of my greatest challenges has definitely been knowing that I don’t have a very great ability to lift heavy. Whenever I attended a WOD that had Olympic lifts, I would find myself beating myself up instead of trying to beat the obstacles in my way (which I later learned wasn’t the way to play the game). I was focusing more on what I couldn’t do at the time rather than what I could. I found myself trying to get better all at once and scolding myself when I failed. I took things too fast, and expected more of myself than I should have.
JOSIAH: My greatest challenge since I started CrossFit has been pushing myself to do heavier weights. The body weight stuff has always been easy for me, as I have my small size and weight to thank for for that. It has always been hard for me to lift anything above my head that is heavier than my body weight which is 110 pounds It was only recently I got a thruster PR of 115 pounds which even though is only five pounds more than my body weight I am proud of. I have to challenge myself to try and RX mens weight. It is still a struggle for me to RX but I am definitely becoming more strong than I was at the beginning. I just have to push through that barrier of telling myself I cant do this weight and push myself harder and tell myself I can do this. This is still a challenge for me today but it is something I will keep working on.
3. What have been your greatest successes (physically,mentally or emotionally) since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
AUNDREA: My greatest success by far has just been being able to stick with it. I have never been able to stay with something like this for so long. It has been so awesome to not only want to work out but to notice results! I can look back and see that all those little bits of improvements that I cast off as disreputable because they were so small have actually added up to some really big improvements! I feel stronger, and that has given me a sense of freedom. I am more able to help with things requiring lifting and I am more confident in going to do something active with my friends and just more confident in most things overall. It is a really good feeling to know that you are taking care of your body.
JOSIAH: My biggest success since starting CrossFit has been becoming stronger and more confident. At age 16 I have been able to achieve things I never would have accomplished. Starting from only being able to do ten pound curls and doing ten pull-ups to being able to do 115 pound thruster and 20 muscle-ups feels awesome. Without CrossFit and the coaches at CrossFit Julia I would have never been more confident in pushing myself to try new things that before seemed impossible. Everyone at CrossFit Julia encourages you and inspires you to do better. It’s so great to have people around you who you know will cheer you on and push you to do better. I am way stronger than I was three years ago and I have CrossFit Julia to thank for that. Since I started CrossFit my body feels way better and I am more energetic because CrossFit is really fast and pushes you to be able to complete hard tasks longer and more efficient than ever before. Now I don’t feel exhausted all the time when playing sports with my friends over the weekend.
4. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
AUNDREA: Like I mentioned before, I feel more confident in almost everything. I feel like CrossFit has helped keep my life happier. It’s great knowing that I’m doing something to benefit my well-being. Halfway through a tough WOD I can think about being on my butt at home scrolling through some social-media app on my apple-device, like most other teenage girls and laugh. This is way cooler, right? They say beauty is pain. Well I’m having a pretty tough time snatching up this barbell over here, ladies.
JOSIAH: I feel better, stronger and more able to do anything now that I’ve been doing Crossfit. I started out from being a small skinny kid who could barely lift a 20 pound weight to a strong small kid who can do some of the crazy moves you see on the Olympics. I feel more confident playing sports since I started CrossFit. Before I was always the kid hiding in the corner during dodge ball. I feel more confident in playing sports with my friends now more than ever. The things I have been able to transfer from CrossFit into other areas of my life is being more encouraging to people who are afraid to try new stuff. Everyone at CrossFit Julia is encouraging and if there is one thing Iv’e learned from my experience doing CrossFit It’s that nothing is impossible if you really work hard at it and do your best. Now I can confidentially help the lady next door move heavy stuff without also straining my back. I enjoy encouraging my friends to try CrossFit and hope someday I can get them to get out of their comfort zone and try it out
5. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
AUNDREA: There are two VERY significant advantages to CrossFit style training. One, the constantly varied workouts that provide a new challenge to overcome everyday. You can’t get bored with that! Two, the totally awesome and extremely supportive community to workout in at CFJ. Let me tell you, I have never seen a workout community like CFJ’s before. The way everybody knows everybody, how they make newbies feel welcome, the shouted out encouragements in the middle of a WOD, the way that nobody EVER gives you a reason to be ashamed but just a reason to improve, the awesome coaches, and owners that couldn’t be better. You will never find that in any local gym. And compared to my previous workout style, with CrossFit I am always excited to go WODing. Even the challenges can be exciting! Before things got boring too fast and I always dreaded going to the gym. Would you be excited to go run on a treadmill in a room full of random people? I didn’t think so… I think jumping on boxes in a room full of totally awesome people is more like it.
JOSIAH: I think the thing that makes CrossFit better than my previous workouts is the community. You will never find a group of amazing athletes that love to push and encourage each other like at CrossFit Julia. I am so honored to be part of such an awesome community. Another thing I find better than my previous workouts is the various moves that we do at CrossFit. I love all the Olympic lifts like cleans ,thrusters, snatches and all the other awesome moves we do as well as muscle ups and rope climbs. All the moves we do at CrossFit are in my opinion way more fun than all the stuff you’d do at the normal gym. Instead of running on a treadmill you run with a 40 pound sandbag and instead of laying down doing bench presses you stand up and do push press, which I find way more entertaining. All the varied movements keep the workouts fun and fresh. I also like how it pushes you to go as fast as you can while doing varied movements like lifts and body weight stuff. Before my workouts were slow and boring, nothing like the fast paced fun of CrossFit.
6. What advice can you give to others? Especially other kids your own age.
AUNDREA: Don’t quit. Take it slow, if you’re not seeing improvement right away that is okay (I learned that the hard way). Take it step by step, ab mat by ab mat (HSPU), pound by pound. Be patient with yourself and pace your improvement. Don’t ever be intimidated by your fellow athletes (there is no need to! especially here at CFJ, where you can call everybody a friend). It may look like you can’t do it and your mind will surely try to convince you that you can’t, but you can. With enough determination and hard work YOU CAN. Lastly, try to make the WOD’s that you are absolutely dreading, the ones that you look at and say right away “I don’t want to do that one.” Because, like it or not, those are usually the WOD’s that you should go to and later you’ll thank yourself for going. Look at those type of WOD’s as an opportunity to improve! (if you stay consistent, you will).
CFJ 4 LIFE!
JOSIAH: Advice I would give to others is that when you start CrossFit you don’t want to start out too heavy and kill yourself. You want to start out with mods that are good for you and wont totally burn you out. It is easy to try and get ahead of yourself and It’s not bad to try out a new heavy weight, you just need to know your limits. Advice I give to my friends at school about CrossFit is anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter if you cant do push-ups or do the same weight that everyone else is doing. The reason you start low is so you can build up to that. I think when you first start CrossFit it is better to compete with yourself at first than with other people. Sure it is awesome getting top of the board on a workout but first you must compete with yourself and strive towards beating your own scores and PR’s till you are at the level to compete with others. Its how you get good at CrossFit, Challenging yourself and not giving up but always trying to do better than before.
7. Any other thoughts on your experience?
JOSIAH: CrossFit Julia is the best box out there, I have no doubt about that. Shawn and Julia are the best gym owners out there and they enjoy helping others achieve their goals. The greatest feeling I ever got was when Shawn showed me how to do a muscle up and it took me maybe ten minutes to get one. They know what they are doing when it comes to moves and technique. So do all the other great coaches at CrossFit Julia. Everyone at CrossFit Julia is welcoming and are amazing and inspiring athletes. It has been a great privilege to be a part of CrossFit Julia and I would like to thank Shawn and Julia and everyone else at CrossFit Julia for helping me out and inspiring both me and my family. Every day at Crossfit Julia is a good day.