Q. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
A. I moved back to Boulder in 1999 after living years of outdoor adventures. To maintain a lifestyle of adventure meant consistently staying in shape, lifting, running, mountain biking and simply participating in the activities that I loved. These guiding and outdoor education expeditions took me to some phenomenal places around the world. Expeditions to Mount Everest, Denali in Alaska, Ecuadorian volcanoes and other peaks in the continental US and Europe. White water kayak trips from the depths of Grand Canyon to steep creeks in the Western US, Wales and Scotland. Ski mountaineering from Alaska to Idaho to Colorado. Lots of multi day self supported sea kayak trips in Mexico, the Great Lakes and Alaska. Lots of rock climbing all over the US and Europe, some mountain bike racing, anything that one could do outdoors.
The move to Boulder brought new career opportunities. The move also saw me start to ride road bikes, less so mountain bikes, just road, road and more road. Years on the bike changed my body type. Starting cyclocross racing in 2009 helped change things up but I was still completely unbalanced. Enter CrossFit, with a goal of regaining balance, getting physically and mentally strong while also being able to pursue all the adventures I have loved and lived-by all my life.
Q. What have been your greatest challenges since you began your CrossFit Training?
A. My greatest physical challenges surround physical limitations around a couple long-time injuries. The injuries frustrate me as I’m limited in my ability to execute some movements and so limit my strength and mobility gains. Ugh. Mental challenges early on were based on finishing a WOD. Feeling unable to finish a WOD is challenging to me – however, I’ve never NOT finished a wod, no matter how long it’s taken! I’ve no intention of getting injured so MOD’ing is perfect. I can choose to MOD if necessary and feel completely and utterly spent after giving it my all.
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 successes are knowing I can go deeper than I think I can. Push through the WOD’s, push through what I thought to be my limit – that’s success! Box jumps, rope climbs, burpees, and any core WOD, I love ’em all. Success is showing up for a class, having fun with the people there, laughing on the way in, still laughing when I leave. Years on the road bike made my upper body weak, CrossFit has given me strength, mobility and most importantly confidence. My body feels great, ready to go on any adventure anywhere in the world!
Q. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
A. CrossFit has brought back the strength and fitness that I had years ago when I rock climbed, kayaked, mountaineered for a living! Even better, 16 years after leaving a very physical career I feel strong enough to jump into any activity! A ski mountaineering expedition to a glacier in the Alaska Range in April assured me I was physically prepared to get-after-it, day after day. This summer I’ll do laps on many of the routes of the Flatirons, do some fast ascents of a few 14ers, run a multi-day raft trip on the Colorado and of course ride the mountain bike, the cross bike and even spin the road bike!
Q. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
A. I love showing up at the box a little early, getting a good warm up, stretch and get psyched for the wod. Having a coach ensure a good warm up wod, ensure good technique and pushing you hard through the wod is fantastic. My lunchtime visits to the wod are a break from my work day but they’re also a great connection with some phenomenal people. It’s a great hour of my day!
Q. What advice can you give to others?
A. Keep keeping on. Use the Mod’s. Don’t be afraid of starting a tad heavy and going down, or simply go light and push the cardio as hard as you possibly can. Work on technique. Ask coaches to watch you and give you pointers. Ask for what you need. Look at the board when you come in, take a look at what other people did, then challenge yourself.
Q. Any other details you would like to share about your experience?
A. My 3 kids love the fact that I have more time and energy. I’m here for them, to have fun in any activity they chose, anytime, anywhere. With CrossFit I’ll be able to ride, kayak, climb, throw, catch, jump, skip, run, you name it, with them as long as they need and want to!