1. Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
Born in Miami, FL, and spent almost half of my life in FL, before moving to St. Mary’s. Third oldest of seven- Katie and Bridget Thomas are my inspirational younger sisters. Andax has been my place of employment over the past fifteen years, in Sales, and thankfully I love my job! I enjoy spending time with friends, my growing family with 16 nieces and nephews, traveling, CF, of course, and making other people laugh.
2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
August 2016 is when I started CrossFit . After talking to Bridget and Joe Thomas, and observing a class, I wanted to jump in- right then and there! The CFB “culture” is what keeps me coming back. Not only have I gotten stronger physically, but also mentally, and spiritually. I’ve been able to travel to a few other boxes and can say with certainty—we have something special here.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
My first WoD escapes me, however I recall feeling beat, and although it was extremely tough—this was going to be the most challenging exercise class, therefore the most rewarding!
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
The most enjoyable thing about CrossFit is getting to work out with a group of ladies who come from various stages in their life, but they show up, put in the work, and do not quit. They always support one another! I end up having a great sense of accomplishment after every class, especially the ones requiring the most aerobic activities.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
My proudest CrossFit moment was recently when I attempted to increase 20 lbs for what was one of the last attempts for Deadlifts. I made it and am now 5 lbs away from joining the ‘300 club’.
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite movement is tied between the Russian kettlebell swing, and deadlift. My least favorite is the dreaded burpee, but I’d like to make it my most favorite.
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?
Recent goals that were achieved was getting a PR on the last deadlift WOD, and I signed up for another 9- 10 months. Current goals are starting The Zone diet, and getting my first strict pull up. How close am I to reaching them... TBD.
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
Growing up playing competitive and recreational sports, I don’t recall the conditioning programs being so challenging and well rounded. Is there such thing as CrossFit High School? After having a membership at a globo-gym, shortly before joining CrossFit, there is an obvious difference between me going a few times a year, compared to two to three times a week at CrossFit Benedictus. Working out with a group of ladies and having a knowledgeable coach, who will watch and guide you, at least for me, has made all the difference in going to class regularly.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
CrossFit has had some obvious impacts on my life, such as becoming physically stronger. This past year, though, my family and I have experienced what felt like some heavier than normal crosses. I believe that being in CrossFit has provided me with some of the tools necessary to get through those tough times, and keep going, even when I thought I had nothing left in the tank to give. As one of our wise coaches once told me, “Approach ‘it’ like a WoD...”
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit
My nutrition has been all over the place since starting CFB. I am definitely more aware of sugars and grains, however there is much to be desired for optimal performance, and this needs to be the year to get to where I know I need to be- for many reasons.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
My CF WoD would look something like Russian KB swings, at a moderate weight, for time/exhaustion. One may swing with both hands or switch from right to left, but as soon as the kB is put down or stopped from swinging, your time is finished. (30 mins cap)
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
God is soo Good to me! He has allowed me to see, first hand, the lows and highs of my sister with an autoimmune disease- while still showing great progression at CrossFit. Im witnessing my other sister who had cancer, becoming stronger everyday, thanks be to God, but acknowledging the fact that CrossFit has taught her the mental toughness that CrossFit automatically imparts to each of us. After having major surgery, myself, this time last year, and being able to return to CrossFit after 8 weeks, I hope I don’t take for granted these classes, and opportunities to learn and grow from observing how others handle their hurdles (crosses), and will always be grateful for each opportunity.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
As I’ve told several friends already, some who have joined, some who may still be contemplating... jump on in! Talk to Doc, figure out if it’s the right direction for you, and know it’s going to be a lot of fun, even if it looks intimidating at first. This is a great group of people, and it’s a time to leave everything at the door, because you have to think about and concentrate on each movement. You will surprise yourself with how much you can do!
14. Open Forum:
I thank God for inspiring the Carrolls to start CFB. I’d also like to thank Coach Joe Thomas for taking a leap and joining, thus inspiring Bridget to join, which got me here. Little did I know when I first started that I would get so addicted. My ultimate goal is to be able to perform at CrossFit until the day I die. 🙏🏼 When I first started CF, I think I was a bit of a cherry picker. I eventually learned to not think about how tired I am, or if I can do the movements very well for that WoD. God has so graciously given us our wonderfully complicated working bodies. Everyone starts at different places- physically and mentally. I’ve learned to accept my limitations and attempt to crush them... when I can.