1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
Married to my best friend, favorite coach and training partner, I’m the mother of eight children, a teacher of English literature at St. Mary’s College, and a coach at CrossFit Benedictus. If I had any free time I would play the harp and try to read The Consolation of Philosophy in Latin.
2. When did you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
After running 5-8 miles 4 times (or so) a week for 30 years, and bringing baby number 8 into the world, I was a broken runner with chronic pain in my left hip. Providentially, my husband Matthew had already discovered Box Pax Tecum in 2014 and frequently shared what he was learning as he prepared for his level 1 CrossFit trainer course. His enthusiasm for “the sport of fitness,” the 10+ pounds he lost, and his improved blood pressure were convincing.
In February 2015 I was invited to join a women’s class of box member wives---a delightful group to begin with---and I have been working out in CrossFit fashion at least 3 times a week since then. I still run occasionally (without pain) because I learned proper technique in CrossFit, but my WOD of choice would not be a 5K. I’m addicted to the constant variety and challenges offered at CrossFit Benedictus.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
I don’t remember the details of my first WOD, but I do remember being highly skeptical that I could get a real workout in 3-5 minutes. I had never really pushed myself to the threshold of endurance or strength with my routine runs, so that 3 -5 minutes in competition with my new friends was a novel anaerobic (“sucking wind”) experience for me, an epiphanic discovery of intensity, exposing my weaknesses as an athlete.
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
Finishing a WOD---those first few minutes of endorphin induced ecstasy are great, but besides that I enjoy coaching, helping women get fit, healthy, and happy.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
A year ago I could hardly string together 3 pull ups or 10 pushups, so finishing ½ Murph in 2017 was something I thought I’d never be able to do.
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite movement is the GHD sit up. The Olympic lifts are my least favorite, especially the snatch.
7. Have you had one or two challenging CrossFit goals that you've achieved recently? What are your current goals and how close are you to reaching them?
Double-unders and handstand pushups (to one abmat) have been my “goats” of late. Progress comes slowly at my age, but regular practice does pay off. My current goal is to squat snatch 55#---I’ve got a long way to go.
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
The intensity of working out in competition with others and the constant variation are unmatched by any other program.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
My posture, strength, balance, flexibility, and agility have all improved---I’m not such a klutz anymore and can lift heavy things with confidence. Psychologically and spiritually I’m stronger, less inclined to quit when the going gets tough, more capable of persevering through adversity.
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
When I volunteered to help Dr. Goulart teach a nutrition seminar for box members, I took the time to follow with precision Dr. Barry Sears’ Zone diet, recommended in the Level 1 CrossFit Trainer’s Manual. We were fairly disciplined at home already, avoiding sugar and grains, but I discovered that I was consuming 2-3 times more protein than I actually needed. A more balanced intake of macronutrients eliminated the early afternoon “0h-boy-do-I need-a-nap” grogginess and improved my performance at evening WODs.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
I’m a big fan of the team WOD and of Fight Gone Bad, so I’d do a variation called Fight Gone from Bad to Worse, AMRAP 3 rounds: You go, I go: 1’ row, 1’ STO, 1’ power clean, 1’ FS, 1’ wall-balls, 1’ rest, tally reps. RX, men women 75#/55# 14#/10# wall-ball, 10/9 feet.
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
I’m 50 years old and my youngest child is 3. I owe it to him, his brothers and sisters, and their father to do whatever I can to age healthfully. Who wants to be a burden (if they can help it) for their loved ones?
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
Learn more about it by reading the Level One Trainer’s Manual, available free online at CrossFit.com and get a copy of Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard. These two sources provide convincing information on the methodology based on scientific research and indispensable advice for proper form and mobility for virtually every CrossFit movement. Take a break from the reading to visit your local box and watch a class or two.
14. Open Forum: Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. and Mrs. Carroll for CrossFit Benedictus---you’ve changed my life.