LINDA STANKUS

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Q. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?

A: I have played sports all of my life, anything from soccer to team handball to volleyball.  In high school, I devoted my full time to volleyball and I played in college as well.  After college, I kept playing volleyball, but nothing on a regular schedule and I tried a few random forms of fitness to stay in shape.  I would go for an occasional run, but I would be super frustrated within minutes because I really don’t like running that much.  At a previous job they offered a bootcamp class and I was super excited to get sweaty on a weekly basis.  After a few months, I was the only one left in the class and it wasn’t that exciting anymore.

Just exactly a year ago I convinced two of my friends to go to CrossFit Julia with me and try it out. I had heard about the CrossFit concept and it just seemed like my style of exercise – intense workout with fun movements.   I walked into the gym and saw Amy Russ doing handstand pushups and flawless toes-to-bar and I knew that would be my goal one day.  My two friends and I started working with Ian for a few weeks and I was hooked.  Ian brought back all the memories of lifting and added the fun element.  My two friends have since gone back to their other exercises and I have gained new awesome CrossFit friends.

 

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Q. What have been your greatest challenges since you began your CrossFit Training?

A: My greatest challenge has been to be patient.  I walked into my intro session with Julia remembering that I could do pull-ups.  Well, that was 20 years ago and things have changed.  I had done a lot of the lifting moves in my past athletic career, so knowing that I can do the move but not the weight has been a mental challenge.  I am still scaling on lots of weight moves knowing that it’s better to be safe than sorry.  On the flip side though, it’s now a challenge to put the weight on the bar since I have it in my head to “be safe”.  My next challenge is upon myself to add the weight and be confident that I can lift it, because deep down  I know I can.  The mind game is the toughest one…

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Q. What have been your greatest successes since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?

A: My greatest success has been to get two out of my original three goals.  I can now get a few pull-ups in a row and a few toes-to-bar in a row.  My last movement is the perfect handstand pushup a la Amy.

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Other than the specific moves that I want to be able to do, the greatest success is to have found something that I enjoy doing every day and that makes me a strong and healthy person.   With a full time job, two kids, and normal life obligations, I make an effort to hit the gym at least three times a week.  A great workout gives me more patience for everyday challenges and it makes me feel refreshed.

I also just completed the 2016 Open.  I signed up “for fun”, but each week my competitiveness came out.  Of course I wanted to beat that person in front of me, the person next to me, and the person ahead of me on the leaderboard.  Even though I am a team player first, I like to win in the end.

 

 

Q. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?

A: CrossFit has made me a better person physically and mentally.  I have more patience in general, I teach my kids to do burpees and they love doing them, and I love talking WOD’s with my husband.  I am still working on him coming to the gym with me…

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Q. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?

A: CrossFit is a family style.  You show up and everyone is your friend, your coach, your motivator when you just want to quit.  Everyone cares about you.  As long as you show up, have a good attitude,  and are true to yourself about your reps/time/weight,  everyone will be your biggest supporter.  It’s rare to find a place where you have the whole class cheering you on to finish your workout if you are the last person.  It’s pretty amazing feeling to havScreen Shot 2016-03-31 at 2.31.46 PMe that support around you when it gets though and you just want to quit.

 

Q. What advice can you give to others?

A: Come and give it a try.  It might sound scary when you walk by the gym with the loud music blasting, the heavy weight dropping on the floor, and the grunting
from all the athletes, but it’s not.  There is always a modification if you don’t feel comfortable with the move, the weight, or if it hurts.  Scaling is totally ok and most of us do it on a weekly basis.  Once you are in the door at CFJ, you will feel welcome and you have the support of the coaches and the other athletes around you.

 

 

Q. Any other details you would like to share about your experience?

A: Don’t be afraid of being sore, it will pass, I promise!  Keep coming back and the soreness will be less each time.