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?
Finding a workout and an environment I could thrive in has made joining CrossFit DNR one of my life’s greatest successes. I thrive in environments where everyone you are surrounded by is motivating, hard-working, cracking jokes, and overall just good-hearted; where coaches know all the ins and outs of what they are talking about and truly care about you as an individual (which includes where you are both physically and mentally); and where you are given the opportunity to challenge yourself. When I arrived in Fort Collins, walking into DNR was the best thing that could have happened to me. I met a fierce group of strong women and men who inspire me every day inside and outside of the gym. I’ve never handled stress so well in my life because I walk into the gym and feel it dissipate almost instantaneously. There is no doubt that the programming at the gym will make you physically stronger, but what is less apparent for others who have not experienced our community in the gym is just how much it prepares you to take on everything else going on in your life. When I started at DNR, I was coming off a knee injury. I didn’t feel confident in my body’s ability to perform at a high level anymore. Since day one at DNR, the coaches have been helping me work through my lingering injuries. Not only have I gotten stronger, but I have learned how to better listen to my body. Knowing when to add weight to a barbell, when to scale, how to scale, how to become a supple leopard – these were all things I didn’t necessarily know how to do properly before coming to DNR.
Q2. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
I used to go to CrossFit when I had time. Now, I make CrossFit the priority and do the other things when I have time. This has truly become a positive and sustainable change in my life. The CrossFit community is what keeps you coming back. I’ve also learned to listen to my body better. This type of awareness of self has transferred to all aspects of my life. I am more in tune with my mood/stress and know how to handle it better, including how to cheer myself up. Many times it means relying on others to pick you up and the gym just happens to be the perfect place for that.
Q3. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
I did gymnastics when I was younger. I continued to tumble for quite a few years after “retiring” from gymnastics because I was never able to fully give up the sport. Basketball became my main sport in high school. I did track only to stay in shape (not for fun because running is not fun). I played around with weightlifting in college but I never was trained properly on any technique. CrossFit has tied together the gymnastics, the weightlifting, the cardio, the competitiveness, and the team aspect in one package. Concentrating on form, scaling options, and mobility has made this the best work out style for me.
Q4. What advice can you give to others?
I don’t know about you, but I am someone who wakes up and looks up what the WOD is. If I don’t like it, I try extra hard to make it to the gym that day. Yes, I end up dreading it for most of the day (e.g. anything over 100m of running or over 3 rounds of anything)… but each time you complete a WOD you didn’t think you could get through, it becomes one of the most rewarding and satisfying feelings. My goal is to make it to the gym 5-6 days a week. I try to plan in advance what day I will have to miss based on my school/work calendar versus it being biased by the WOD. My other piece of advice comes in the form of one of my favorite quotes: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Although I do not believe this quote holds true in all aspects of life, it does represent my mentality in the gym. I do the best I can do on any given day. I try not to dwell on a bad workout or if someone next to me is going heavier in weight and/or finishes faster than me. Focus on YOU and what will make YOU better. DNR is all about giving you the opportunity to tailor each workout to work best for you. Take advantage of that.
Athlete Specific Q. 1) Of all the places you have been able to visit and/or live, what would you say has been your favorite? 2) Everyone wants to know why you are going to be leaving Fort Collins, more specifically CFDNR, come next year and will you return?
1) Hands down living in Germany was my favorite place; however, I was young so I probably romanticize many aspects of my experience living there. My favorite place I have traveled to is Honduras. My favorite place I have ever done CrossFit is Fort Collins.
2) I am planning on pursuing a PhD program back in Virginia. So yes, sadly I am leaving Fort Collins in the summertime but only with full expectations of returning someday. You cannot get rid of me that easily! I LOVE Colorado. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to move out here again. I love y’all and am so thankful for the home I made here.