1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I was born in Texas a little over 30 years ago, but I've lived in St. Marys for the last 27. I married my wonderful husband in 2013 and I am a stay-at-home mom to our precocious and very busy 2 year old. My hobbies are mostly dormant in this season of life, but include baking, photography, sewing, and watching nerdy documentaries.
2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I began dabbling in CrossFit in early 2012, but started 'officially' in February 2015. I started because I couldn't get away from it. :) My mom, dad and husband were all encouraging me to join. It took a while for me to get to the point where I was doing it because I actually wanted to, but I did reach that point and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine life without CrossFit!
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
My very first WOD (2012) was a 2,000 m row. It was so painful and I had to keep stopping to breathe. My form was probably pretty bad and my time was also pretty bad... 10 or 11 minutes as I recall. My first 'official' WOD (2015) was a 12-minute AMRAP. 500 m row and in the time remaining AMRAP of 10 air squats and 10 push presses (I did it at 35#). I got two rounds.
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
The endorphin rush after a WOD is pretty addictive, but the camaraderie - the shared agony and laughter - and the opportunity to get to know so many ladies whose paths I never would have crossed otherwise is probably the best part. (My numbers-oriented brain also likes that there are measurable scores for almost every WOD, with cardinal and ordinal rankings.)
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
I have two.
One took place earlier this year when I repeated the first WOD I had done in 2015. This time, instead of two rounds, I got 10!
The second one took place very recently, when I PR'd with a 1RM OHS of 95 lbs. In 2012, I couldn't even get to parallel on my air 'squat' and, in early 2015, I remember being unable to come up from the squat with an empty 15# bar overhead. This stuff works, no matter what your fitness level is when you start. I'm looking forward to taking the OHS to triple digits. :)
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
I enjoy overhead squats now that I can do them... and I hate thrusters, especially those done with kettle bells!
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?
I got my first toes to rings a few months ago, but haven't been able to reproduce it more than a few times. Current goals include a complete wall-walk and a body weight pull-up... I'm getting closer on the wall-walk, but still a long way from a BW pull-up!
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
I have only tried a few other fitness programs and they were epic failures. The longest one lasted a month; the others made it a week or so. They were boring and repetitive and tedious and I had no accountability. Enter CrossFit, which is interesting, constantly varied, not tedious (because of the time/reps that are being scored), and great accountability! The coaching makes all the difference. Learning good movement patterns and proper form has been key to succeeding and continuing.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
There have been so many benefits! I'm just as much stronger mentally as I am physically. I find myself thinking, 'If I can do (fill in the blank with the worst WOD), I can do this' about difficult things. It translates well into the spiritual life as well: WODs are great opportunities to offer a sacrifice for a special intention and in turn the intention adds the motivation necessary to push hard all the way to the end.
CrossFit has made my life so much more POSSIBLE. Knee pain and stiffness used to prevent me from getting on the floor to play with kids or inhibit me from joining in outdoor activities. Now they are no problem (except for when I'm stiff and sore from the previous WOD ;-)). The chiropractor visits and frequent headaches that were my way of life are much fewer and further between now. CrossFit has also made me much more confident and happy.
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
We've tried a number of things related to Nutrition over the past few years - from Paleo/Primal to Whole30 to Zone. The Zone Diet seems to be the best fit and the most effective for us. We allow ourselves 'off' days or occasions to help us not derail completely; but overall, we have definitely shifted away from the Standard American Diet and moved toward a whole foods/balanced macros way of eating. We hardly notice the absence of bread, pasta, rice, etc.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
It would probably be an inverse ladder of slam balls (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) and OHS (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10) for time.
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
You can't give what you don't have. Each of us has a mission and a vocation in this life, a talent or set of talents that God has given us to use for His greater glory. But our souls depend on the ability of our bodies to carry out that task.
And on a natural level, as it has been said, you want your body to last as long as your life.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
Do it! If I can do it, anyone can do it. But give yourself plenty of time (minimum of 3 months, but possibly closer to a year) before throwing in the towel or saying it's not for you. Come as regularly as you can and don't cherry-pick. You'll never get better at movements that you avoid practicing and everything can be scaled. It may be overwhelming at first - there's so much to learn! - but regular attendance will translate into noticeable gains.
14. Open Forum:
I would like to thank my parents for taking on the full-time job of running an official CrossFit box in their 'spare time' and for always encouraging me to 'keep coming back'! I would like to thank my husband for all of his interest, encouragement, and support and the countless bedtimes he has handled on his own, so that I can get to the evening WODs. I would also like to thank all the coaches who find the time in their busy lives to help make us better. We couldn't do it without you and we're very grateful! Most of all, I thank God frequently for the incredible and unique Box we have here. Where else is the camaraderie raised to a higher level by cheering each other on with the words 'think of your intention!' or 'one more rep for the Poor Souls!' I look forward to many more WODs in the future, God willing.