Q. What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
I competed as a triathlete and swimmer when I was in my 20’s but then moved out of the sport when I entered medical school, residency, got married and had 3 boys.
For about 8 years, during medical school and residency, I did no formal exercise. Studying consumed me. In my 20’s I was a top triathlete and open water swimmer. That training was then transferred to my scholastic training of becoming a physician. Baby #1 and #2 were born during my residency and they took my body to a new level of exhaustion. Thank goodness for my wonderful husband!
2 years after residency, and a third child later, the fog of perpetual exhaustion lifted. I had secured a job working for a great company and was finally ready to get back in shape.
I started swimming with the lafayette masters swim team but found I had severe shoulder pain. My brain had resumed training where it left off 8 years and 3 kids ago, but my body could not keep up. I pushed through for a couple of years until I heard about CrossFit from a friend.
One fateful day in sept 2014 I walked into CFJ and ran in to Shawn. Pretty soon I was doing the CF introductory course. I remember coming home after my first class and telling my hubby ‘if this sport doesn’t kill me it will get me into the best shape of my life!’
As I continued with CrossFit it became clear that my weaknesses were the cause of my shoulder pain. I was unbalanced. My core was weak and my flexibility and strength were terrible.
The CFJ coaches have inspired me to improve every time I step in to the box. Whether it is in strength, balance, flexibility or self confidence, I finish each WOD a little better than when I started.
Q. What have been your greatest challenges since you began your CrossFit Training?
My greatest challenge has been learning that I have SO MANY challenges. Life is easy if you only do things you are good at and you surround yourself with ‘yes men’. CrossFit forces you to do things you are not good at and that is humbling.
CrossFit takes you to your physical edge, forces you to mentally stay there, and emotionally makes you face your fears. Take rope climbs as an example: physically tough to complete, now repeat that climb again and again, now try it in two pulls…or legless….. A tripod of exhaustion that leads to an incredible feeling of exhilaration and self confidence once you complete your WOD.
Currently I am battling the injury demons. The daily struggle of rehabbing injuries while still trying to improve overall is very mentally taxing. The box plays with my mind. During every workout have to consciously clear out the negative thoughts telling me to stop pushing, that I don’t have to do this, that I can just rest. I workout with clear purpose: be the best I can be right now so I can be even better tomorrow.
Q. What have been your greatest successes since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
One of my greatest successes has been inspiring nurses and docs at work to MOVE or try new things. I hear them whisper behind my back saying ‘I wish I could do that’. So, subtly, I encourage them to make daily small changes.
Another has been developing self confidence. I have always had a fear of racing, putting myself on the line and then having my results broadcast for all the world to see. Doing CrossFit and hearing 3,2,1 go! increases my adrenaline in the box just as if I was racing and has taught me not to fear THE RACE, not to fear the pain, I can go hard and hold on. CrossFit has made me a better competitor by developing my self confidence.
Q. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
CrossFit has also taught me to push beyond my self imposed limits. Don’t settle for a handstand, do a handstand push up…don’t just be part of the dept, be the chair of the dept, try skiing blue runs, go to the skate park with your kids, eat fresh mussels…. Try it all.
Q. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
CrossFit touches on all areas of fitness: endurance, flexibility, strength, agility, power just to name a few. It works your body in different directions every time you walk into the box. These directly carry over to every day life and to other sports.
CrossFit is a team sport in that the camaraderie that develops from group suffering binds us together. We all struggle, we all hurt, and we all succeed.
Q. What advice can you give to others?
Listen to your heart, be still, try to hear what your body is telling you it needs. If you struggle with flexibility do yoga, if you struggle with endurance run or bike…but listen to your body. And quiet the demons and naysayers that say you can’t. Because you can.