Q. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did
you want to start working with a coach?
you want to start working with a coach?
Kate: I was never an athletic person in the traditional sense of the term. I danced ballet through high school, and then played club soccer (but not very well) in college. After college, I started rock climbing and yoga and fell in love with those sports. Eventually, the rock climbing led us to move to Colorado, and we did both sports constantly for several years. When Mark started doing CrossFit, I was totally impressed with how fast he got really strong and I saw how quickly it helped with his climbing. I knew I had to try it.
Mark: I’m a lifelong rock climber since I was introduced to it in 1995. That is absolutely the only thing I have ever stuck with. Twice, I have signed up for a 3 year globo gym membership and then show up for at most 3 months. I trained and ran a half-marathon which was probably the pinnacle of my mental determination. I think that took like 4 months. In 2009, I saw my boss doing farmer’s carries in the parking lot and asked him about it. It looked pretty easy, you just hold onto stuff and walk. I can hold stuff! So that is how I started CrossFit. I pursued it up until 2013 where some pressure from work caused me to take a one year hiatus. When I went back to restart in 2014, my old gym had changed drastically (grown large). It felt weird to go back there and treated like a new person… It lost its intimacy. So in order to get a true fresh start, I signed up with CrossFit Julia. I have dropped out of every fitness program for 30 years. Some aspect of CrossFit has kept me going back 3 or 4 times a week for FIVE YEARS.
Q. What have been your greatest challenges since you began your CrossFit Training?
Kate: Since beginning CrossFit several years ago, I’ve struggled with several (non-CrossFit related) health issues. I’ve had to take some long breaks for pregnancy and dissertations. I had two years when I was very sick from undiagnosed anemia and made no progress in CrossFit at all. I’ve learned that life and CrossFit are not a straight road towards constant improvement. There are bends and loops and sometimes you have amazing gains and sometimes you have to let go and fall back for a while. Remember to enjoy the journey no matter the direction you’re heading.
Mark: What are my greatest challenges – Waking up at 5 AM. Finishing strong in WODS. Heavy things. But I love persevering, especially when heavy things are involved.
Q. What have been your greatest successes since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
Kate: When I started, I couldn’t run 800m without stopping to walk. Now I can jog for miles. I couldn’t do a pull-up, or a double under, or a handstand push-up, or most of the gymnastic motions at all. It took me a long time and a lot of failures before getting these successes, but I did eventually get there! My body feels more solid and dependable now than it ever has.
Mark: My body is far and away better, stronger, faster and less prone to injury than any time in my life. (I’m 43)
Q. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
Kate: Since starting CrossFit, I can really tell a difference in my climbing with increased strength in my shoulders and core. In every day life, I now have the ability to do so many cool things – from carrying heavy luggage, to long hikes in the mountains, to picking up my son and carrying him into his room when he’s sleeping (or throwing a fit). Being stronger makes everything easier!
Mark: CrossFit has made so many aspects of my life easier. For a big multi-pitch rock climbing day, half of the day’s effort used to be hiking a couple miles with heavy packs uphill in order to just start the fun part, the climbing. Since crossfit that part of the day just got easy. I arrive at the base of the climb fresh and ready to go. CrossFit has developed my mind into a “Yes you can” attitude. Often I see things that would have previously been intimidating as a challenge to overcome.
Q. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
Kate: CrossFit training gets your whole body stronger and teaches you how to properly move in every day life. It’s really a fitness that you can use all the time in every sport, activity or errand. Once you build a base of true fitness, it gives a serious advantage to everything new that you try. When I first tried stand-up paddleboarding, I had the advantage of a strong core and shoulders, plus practice shifting my balance forward and back over my feet for CrossFit lifts, and I had a great time on my first day of paddling! There are no other workouts that produce such a totally complete fitness.
Mark: CrossFit keeps me coming back. There is always something to look forward to in every day. It might be a motion that I know I will rock out or one that I am eager to work on. It might be knowing that a fellow classmate is going to be there or a coach with whom I have a good rapport.
Q. What advice can you give to others?
Kate: My advice to other CrossFit athletes is always to be patient. You are very capable of doing any of the exercises and mastering all of the skills, but it will take time! You fall a lot before you learn to walk, and you whip your legs A LOT before you learn double-unders.
Mark: Get more sleep. Figure out what makes you want to show up and use it. Pay attention to the person you are on CrossFit days versus three days away from the gym. I am a MUCH nicer person when I’m CrossFitting. Nothing fixes a nasty work day like throwing yourself into a WOD.
Q. Any other details you would like to share about your experience you would like to share?
Kate: Being active as a family is really important to us. We camp, climb and bike together, so it makes sense that everybody would be included in the CrossFitting as well. I’ve taught myself over the years to not compete with Mark, just be happy with myself and my own journey. But lately I’ve been able to actually give him real competition (and beat him!) and that is a whole lotta fun.
Mark: My wife and I get very few chances to workout together. When we do share a class, the competition is on. Who can Rx the workout. Who puts down the best time… I certainly throw myself into the WOD much harder when she is there.