July 2019--Laura Mulligan

1. Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I am a proud 43 years old. I have lived my entire life in Kansas, most of it in Pottawatomie County. I grew up in the communities of Westmoreland and Wamego. I am now married to Chris Mulligan and together we have two children, Amanda and Trent. My husband is a full time farmer near Emmett where we live. I love to be outdoors or to be reading anything to deepen my Catholic faith and to increase my knowledge as an educator. I have been an elementary teacher since graduating from Kansas State University in December of 1997. I am currently a 3rd grade teacher at St. Marys Grade School and working on my master’s degree in administration.

2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I begin CrossFit in January of 2018. I started because I wanted something closer to home that had a class setting. I had been occasionally going to Wamego to the group classes, but I was struggling to make it work in my schedule. I continue to participate in CrossFit for two main reasons; the people and the results.

3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
I don’t remember much of my first WOD, but the second one, YES! I will admit I had to look up what the WOD was, but I knew it either had sit-ups or burpees. I was right, sit-ups. I often have an issue with motion sickness, and between being out of shape and the up and down motion, I was feeling pretty dizzy during the WOD. I was happy that I made it home before losing my cookies. For all you newer members, do not worry it’s only happened two times since and it’s been awhile. My body has adjusted, and I have learned a few tricks about when and what to eat prior to a WOD. I also find it helpful to have a focal point in the box while doing these exercises.

4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
By far, the company! I feel very blessed to be a part of CrossFit Benedictus. I love that we start each WOD with prayer and I often offer up my struggles during the WOD to people that I know who are struggling or suffering in anyway.
I also enjoy the results. I find it easier to do routine activities and have strength I definitely didn’t have before.

5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
I am not particularly fond of running and never have been. However, when I ran a full mile in a WOD, it felt pretty good. Only one short period in my life could I run more than a mile. Being able to do a 20” box jump was another highlight. When I begin, I was only using a couple of plates stacked together.

6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite CrossFit movements are probably slam balls and knee raises (hopefully to become toes-to-bar.) My least favorite movements are thrusters and snatches.

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?
One of my biggest goals after I started was to be able to do continuous sit-ups and burpees without getting the sick feeling. I have achieved this and can do multiple reps without stopping. I also wanted to be able to do a handstand hold. I can hold it now for at least 30 seconds, but am looking forward to trying it out in a WOD sometime soon.
As mentioned above I would love to be able to string together some toes-to-bar. I have done two in a row just practicing, but 5 would be great and 10 would be amazing. I also want to be able to consistently deadlift over 100 lbs during a WOD. 95 lbs is currently quite a bit of work for me to do continuously.

8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past? I have participated in group programs before. The main differences include having to sign up for the class beforehand, which helps with accountability, and the weight lifting/strength building sessions. The classes I have been involved in before used equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, ropes, plates, and bands. However, we didn’t use barbells with plates in the class setting.

9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
Inside the gym the biggest impact has been the new friendships I have developed within a Catholic community. It’s inspirational to work with others that share a common motivation for life. The encouragement provided by all the members of the box keeps me coming back.
Outside of the box I need both the physical and mental strength developed by CrossFit for home and work. At home I take care of the house and a fairly large yard. Having the stamina to be able to carry out all of the tasks required is reinforced by the work done at the box.

10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
I don’t feel that my nutrition has really changed since starting CrossFit. I still have the same goals with the same setbacks…too many sweets. On a regular basis I try to eat food from a variety of food groups focusing on proteins and vegetables.

11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
I like smaller numbers of reps in a row. I picked Clean and Jerks because I wanted some weight lifting in the WOD and this is my favorite lift.
12 Clean and Jerks
12 Box Jumps
12 T2B

12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
Do It! It’s very easy in the busyness of life to forget about ourselves. It’s easy to let ourselves go and eventually we cannot fully care for others. When we’re run down and exhausted, mentally or physically, we cannot adequately care for those in our lives. I continually remind myself to reset and refocus on taking care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
I would definitely say to try it. CrossFit may not be for everyone, but you’ll never know until you try. I was pretty anxious after finally making the decision to sign up, but once I started, I was very glad I did. You don’t have to be at the top of the leaderboard. You just become “the leader” of your own board. I am often towards the bottom, but I know that I am reaping many personal benefits from continuing to show up.

14. Open Forum:
I would like to thank everyone that makes my participation at CrossFit Benedictus possible. From Doctor Carroll to Andy and Joe and to all the coaches that dedicate their time and energy to the betterment of the rest of us. As I stated earlier, I feel truly blessed to have been lead to the box through the invitation of Doctor Carroll and the continual encouragement of longtime friend, Theresa Swisher. I appreciate how welcome I feel at each and every workout.
628 W. Bertand
St Mary's, KS 66536 (view larger map)