Q1. 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?
My greatest successes have been healing old repetitive injuries and increasing mobility. For years I was an avid cyclist and skier, but never did any cross training. As a result my core was weak and I had gotten to the point where I had chronic pain in my hips and back. It just wasn’t fun to participate in my favorite sports because of the pain. I tried yoga and got some relief for my back, but it never really seemed to address the real issues in my hips and at times it even seemed to aggravate it. Once I started CrossFit I found that the strength gained in my core combined with the mobility exercises immediately started to provide relief. As time went on my body became more balanced and my hip pain has basically subsided. Now, I am able to enjoy my favorite sports pain free. I really can’t thank the Knapp brothers enough for their relentless focus on proper alignment and mobility. I was basically giving up on skiing and cycling because it hurt too much and wasn’t fun. Now, I can enjoy my favorite sports pain free, plus the added core strength has even improved my performance in those sports.
Since starting CrossFit at DNR my fitness level and strength have improved dramatically and because of that my posture is much better. I’m taller…no joke. I was shrinking as I was aging and had lost about an inch of height, which I have gained back as my posture has improved. I no longer have chronic pain in my hips. My weight doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much as it did before. Overall I feel much stronger and better balanced.
Q2. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
Since starting CrossFit I have changed careers and become self-employed, while I wouldn’t attribute that to CrossFit the confidence and general feeling of well-being gained through CrossFit have definitely helped me stay balanced through the transition. With change there are always highs and lows. A good CrossFit work out puts it all in perspective. I can come into the gym having had a crappy day and after a good work out it’s all erased and I can start over with a new perspective. Also, the community at DNR is very welcoming and inclusive and that has transferred over into many new friends in my life.
Q3. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
I really appreciate the balanced mobility and strengthening approach of CrossFit. I was very into hot yoga for several years and it was great for relaxation and stretching, but there was something lacking. At the time I didn’t realize it, but after the first month of CrossFit I could tell that the combination of mobility and strengthening are more in line with what my body needs. I had years of scar tissue built up from repetitive movements and sitting behind a desk that limited my range of motion. No matter how much I stretched with yoga I basically plateaued and my range of motion really never changed. After a month of CrossFit and using the lacrosse balls to break up the attachments and then build strength to support the new structure my range of motion increased and I immediately started to notice my chronic pain subsiding. I also love the intensity, I can go into the gym and work hard for an hour and get a great work out.
Q4. What advice can you give to others?
Start with light weights and focus on the movements……Then pick up the heaviest weights you can and drop them….
Athlete Specific Q. CrossFit or Yoga, and why?
I still like hot yoga and will take a class from time to time because I love to sweat and get all of the toxins out of my system, but I will do CrossFit daily because I have gained the most from it. Also, yoga is slow, quiet, foofy and mostly in your head. CrossFit is intense, loud and fast, you can talk during class, you get to lift heavy stuff and drop it, you can swear….it is just more fun!!