March 2017--Jill Varnado

1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I was born and raised in Seymour, Indiana playing lots of sports and having very active parents. I  have been married for 21 years and have 10 very active children, seven of which are boys. When I am not at CrossFit I help at Saint Mary’s Academy as the academic advisor for high school students and I work at LiveWatch. I love to read and play tennis, swim, play basketball, hike, and generally just be outside with my family and flowers.

2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I started CrossFit in the Fall of 2015. I had been running and working out on my own, but my workouts were becoming more inconsistent and infrequent. I knew I needed a change and more structure. I continue to go now because I love working out with other people, and I do much better when I have a coach to keep me accountable and keep me focused. Also, I am at a point in my life where there are so many schedules to juggle, I have to have my exercise scheduled or it doesn’t get done.

3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
No, I do not remember the my first WOD, but I do remember the first WOD that I thought “what did I sign up for, this is awful,” 44 Magnum.  It is still my least favorite WOD.

4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
The lovely, ladies I work out with and the coaches.  It is so great to watch and workout with a variety of ladies with different backgrounds and interests. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we learn from each other.

5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment
It was the time that Doc said, “see that woman over there, that is how you squat ladies.” As many of you know, I hate squats, and I started as the poster child of how not to squat.

6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite movements are anything without a bar, and my least favorite is everything with a bar.  Olympic lifting is still a struggle for me and not something I really enjoy, but I get to do enough kettle bells and box jumps and rowing that it makes it worth it.

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?
In one of my lifts, that wasn’t a deadlift, I got to 100 pounds, so I was excited about that. I am hoping by the end of the year to get 5 toes to bar, (so close to one), one strict pull up, (getting closer), and 20 double unders in a row, (7 in a row is my best for now.)

8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
I grew up a swimmer, so the dry land workouts we had in swimming are similar to CrossFit workouts. It brings back a lot of good and agonizing memories, and some of the same songs : )
In swimming, imagine doing a CrossFit workout and then go swim for 90 minutes for your swim workout. Swimmers are some of funniest people you will meet, you have to be half-insane to do that kind of stuff.

9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
I have always been a high energy person. When I hit 40 I started feeling a bit tired, but CrossFit keeps my energy level up so that  I can still play basketball with my boys and keep up with my 2 year old and do all the other things like to do.   

10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
I have been working on my food, on and off again, for about 5 years.  I know the key for me, is PREP, I eat much smarter when I have things on hand and ready to go. Also, I am trying to recognize what triggers bad food decisions for me, and come up with a plan to curb those.    

11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
My favorite question!
21 And Under
Must be completed in under 21 minutes:

21 Cal. Row
21 KBA
21 Slam Balls
21 Double Unders or 210 singles
21 Ab Mat Situps
21 Stone Over Shoulder With Slam Balls
2100 meter run or 21 cal row
I have never timed this, hence the option on the last item.

12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
I think it is so important for women especially to take care of themselves. If mom’s happy then the family is happy.  Sometimes being the mother and wife of a large family can seem overwhelming and a daunting task, but taking a little time each day to walk, or get to a workout, or play with your kids can do wonders for your mood and physique.     Also, activity can be a family affair. Personally, many home disputes or decisions that needed to be discussed have been done on a driveway basketball court. It has also been a great way to bond with my teenagers when those years are somewhat turbulent.

13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
Keep coming back, the first three months are the hardest. There are always going to be good days and bad days, but for the most part, you will feel better when you leave then when you came.   

14. Open Forum:
    Crossfit Benedictus
Good people, good times,
Laugh and sweat, keep coming back,
So glad I joined
628 W. Bertand
St Mary's, KS 66536 (view larger map)