1. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
I grew up being a competitive athlete (cross country skiing, rowing) doing my first competition when I was 3 so I have always been active. Since I gave up competitive sport more than a decade ago (ok, almost 2), I took various cardio classes , ran, skied, and biked recreationally. But after 10 +years of a lull in this cardio world, entering some running and ski races intermittently, it wasn’t that motivating or fun any more. And as I got older, had kids and had less time to train I just got worse and worse at the things I used to do and wasn’t able to match prior PRs. I worked out simply to manage stress but knew from having done competitive sport that it could be so much more fulfilling (camaraderie, feeling from setting and achieving goals and feel like a “winner” etc). I thought that well as life goes on, you work, have kids etc. you can no longer have all of that from sport.
What triggered me to try CF was thanks to my intense husband Eric whom started CrossFit 2 years ahead of me. Eric, from the get- go tried to convince me I should try but I was quite honestly not that interested in “all that weight lifting” and “standing around.” But then, Eric gave me a month trial access at CrossFit Julia for Mothers Day. After getting mad at him for giving me a “gym card” (am I fat?), I tried, and the rest is history. I have once again found a sport that provides me with all the great aspect of being part of a sport – staying fit, setting goals to improve, seeing/feeling improvements, and camaraderie!
2. What have been your greatest challenges since you began your CrossFit Training?
There are many moves that I have had to work on for a very long time, and still working on, which some days is very frustrating. Hand stand push ups, toes-to-bar, butterfly pull-ups and muscle ups in all their versions, to name a few. You try to break it down, build up strength in every part of the movement, listen to every coach’s excellent advice, get advice from all the other athletes, visualize it, but no – didn’t happen today either, week after week, month after month. But then, one random day 5:30 in the morning it happens and oh boy what a feeling! It’s kind of delivering that kid, all the hard work is forgotten and life is just awesome!
3. What have been your greatest successes since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
Nothing but successes in all 3 areas (physically, mentally, and emotionally).
Physically – never been as strong muscularly as I am now (kind of wish I had been this strong when I ski raced).
Mentally – more open to try new things from trying new moves at CF and that has trickled over to life in general as well.
Emotionally – feel “calm”. Stopped thinking all together about body weight. Having been into cardio sports and being a woman, managing my weight had always been in the back of my mind but with CF I have now gained ~ 10 lbs but don’t think I have ever spent less time thinking about what I weigh.
It has also added to our family – I love that Eric and I have something to talk about every day that is not related to the kids. At the dinner table, the kids will ask who of us Rxd and who won and then once they are in bed, Eric and I wait in suspension for the WOD to be posted so that we can strategize and talk some trash on who is going to be the fastest the next day.
4. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?Very grateful to once again have found a sport that challenges me, motivates me to set goals and work to achieve them and see results. I love going to the 5:30 AM class and be surrounded by motivated and fun people, nothing beats that start to a day. Once done with the class, I feel so much better prepared to embrace the day on whatever I need to accomplish.
5. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?So much more effective, fun, and well rounded. I have had years back in the days when I trained 800 hrs per year and saw less progression/improvement than I have since starting CF and working out 60 hrs per year.
If I would count my training time the way I did when I ski raced (only counted minutes actually moving, not counting stretching, warm-up, time between reps etc) , my current CF training wouldn’t result in more than ~ 60 hrs/year – on average a 15 min WOD per day x 5 WODs per week.
6. What advice can you give to others?
Keep doing what you are doing! We are all in the box trying our best.
I believe in consistency with certain ‘focus boosts’ on whatever you want to improve on. Meaning – consistently show up at the gym and do the WODs and if you are working on a move – do some reps before or after the work out and then after 2-3 months you have hopefully got a few steps closer towards Rx’ing that move.
My current ‘focus boost’ is kipping pull-ups. I thought I had kipping pull-ups until Rob blatantly made fun of me for weeks. Ok, I got the point and we shall see if I can re-learn. But this is why I love having coaches again!
7. Any other details you would like to share?
Thanks everyone for being so supportive, caring, and inspirational!