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

Life prior to CrossFit was uneventful. I went to a regular gym, spent an hour doing something (what, specifically, I’m not sure,) and thought I was in good shape. I became interested in CrossFit after watching the Games on ESPN2. I thought “Sure! I can do that, why not!!” HA! I laugh a little now remembering how naive I was, or did I have CrossFit hubris? Anyway, I wanted to work with a coach because I did not feel I had enough strength in my legs. I could only squat about 135lbs, 10 times in a TRUE squat. Yep, it’s true! I wanted to be comfortable squatting my body weight, followed by gaining strength for mountain biking and running, staying in shape and enjoying life.

// What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?

This will sound strange, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I cannot dance! Yea, I think I have two left feet which means I’m not very fluid or coordinated. It was a challenge to learn the proper form for the CrossFit movements. Kipping was hard, Muscle-Ups are hard, and walking on my hands still makes others laugh! But that’s what kept me coming back, the challenge to overcome and the challenge to be better.

// 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?

Like all who join CrossFit Julia, I feel stronger, more fit, ready to take on new challenges (physically or mentally). Most importantly, I feel challenged on a daily basis and I’m never bored with the workouts!

My greatest success just came a few weeks ago. Remember, I really couldn’t squat my body weight. In a PT session with Shawn (which I recommend to EVERYONE for fine tuning, movement training or just a little extra motivation) I was able to hang clean and split jerk 225 pounds! Just getting that bar to my shoulders from the hang clean required a full front squat! Then the split jerk up and WHAM! I’m still totally amazed at that achievement.

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

Life has changed in a variety of ways. I’m more focused on what I eat (not quite true Paleo (sorry Julia) but not a lot of sweets and almost no dairy). I found out that I really, really, really, sorta like dry chicken!

I’m more confident to try a new physical activity I know what my body can do comfortably and, interestingly I’m still determining what the ceiling is for my body. It seems to still be a moving target and that is a great feeling! Knowing that what you thought was the ceiling six weeks ago is just another step forward!

I’m excited for this summer. I’ll have to report back on how my CrossFit training has transferred over to other sports. I stay active with mountain biking, running, adventure racing, team sports (softball and football) and car racing. My assumption is that I will push harder and go faster for longer!

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

It’s night and day. With CrossFit I get a great workout in a 30 or 60 minute block of time. I’m more committed to attending because of the registration process and knowing I’ll hear it from other CF members if I’m out too long.

// What are the advantages of working with a trainer one-on-one versus the group class setting?

Working with a trainer has been great. I’ve been able to really concentrate on my form and building strength, two things I was sorely lacking. The class is totally different. It’s competition time. Time to turn what I’ve learned in the PT sessions into success on the chalk board, ok dry erase board, but chalk sounded better. I would strongly recommend a personal trainer if you feel there is anything you want to improve. Here is a quick list of what I worked on (foot stance, pulling the bar up instead of out, landing the bar on my shoulders instead of my wrists, gaining flexibility in my body, creating explosive jumps/presses/lifts by loading up my muscles via proper form, learning how to pace workouts, not being afraid of going to a low squat and dropping the weight, how to drop weight!, etc., etc., etc.)

// What advice can you give to others?

The same everyone has given me. Work hard, smile and embrace CrossFit. It’s a journey and one that is best taken with a group of CF Friends sweat’in it out with you! Oh and to GO FASTER!