1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I was born in Ocean County, New Jersey, and moved to Kansas with my family almost ten years ago. I live in St Mary’s and manage the Immaculata Bookstore. Besides CrossFit, I enjoy volleyball, playing the guitar, good things to eat and drink, time with family, any kind of community event, and a good challenge.
2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I started CrossFitting in September of 2019. I had been interested in CrossFit for a couple years but didn’t know much about it except for the “high-intensity” part, which intrigued me. When my dad started CrossFit and started talking about it to me, and I heard about the competition, the camaraderie, and all these movements I had never heard of...I wanted to be part of that and learn what it was all about. I continue now because I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. I’ve never had a bad day that an hour at the Box with inspiring coaches and training partners couldn’t fix. There’s something about walking in there, giving it hell, and walking out again; something about knowing it’s going to hurt but not letting it defeat you. Being in control of the situation and knowing it’s one's own choice for oneself, not anyone else’s--to finish strong or not, to be owned by the pain or not. We all choose to own the situation; we don’t let the situation own us. In my opinion, it has helped to better my attitude and approach towards life in general.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
Yup. Wallflower. Rowing, wallballs, and handstand pushups (which I of course did NOT do). I remember thinking “This is nothing like the Onramp WODs! Why did no one warn me?!”
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
Absolutely everything. The challenge. The camaraderie and the competition. The encouragement of the coaches and athletes. Pushing through the dark place we sometimes find ourselves in. The commitment, the grit, and even the check-in WODs ;)
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
Honestly...I think I would have to say my proudest and happiest CrossFit moment was when my mom joined :)
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
It’s a tough question, but I think my favorite would have to be the overhead squat. Least favorite, any kind of Erg, be it bike, row, or ski.
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?
To be completely honest, the biggest goal that I have achieved recently is becoming more comfortable with the check-in WOD. Competition is a big thing for me, and checking in or drastically scaling on a not-so-great day can be a challenge in itself, as well as just knowing there is so much I simply cannot do. But a wise and ancient coach at our Box mentioned to me that anyone who wants to be truly competitive has to become comfortable with scaling, checking in, and knowing your personal limit that particular day, in order to get to a point where one can excel at competing. If you can’t be mechanically sound going scaled, then you certainly can’t be mechanically sound going Rx. I’m happy to say that I’m now not only comfortable with the check-in WOD, but we have become very good friends--it’s so helpful for working on scaled movement progressions that aren’t good options in a competitive WOD. As for my current goals, I’d like to become more proficient at the kipping pull-up, and be able to do handstand push ups--but before that, I need to be able to do regular push ups, off the ground. I’m not as close to these goals as I’d like to be, but I’ll get there eventually or die trying.
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
There’s so many differences, but I think a big one is the fact that CrossFit is “constantly varied”. Any other programs I’ve tried got boring very quickly. As well as being able to track your progress. I’ve never seen that in any other program I’ve tried.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
Both inside and outside the gym, CrossFit Benedictus has changed so much for me. I’ve never been willing to push myself as hard with other exercise programs. There's just something different about CrossFit. And the grit that we practice during our WODs has given me a better mindset when facing challenges in daily life. I’ve done things I never thought I’d be capable of doing, both inside and outside the gym. I constantly find myself comparing situations in life to times at the Box, and remembering that in the Box I don't let pain defeat me—so why should I let it have a say now?
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
I have always tried to eat more or less healthy, but since starting CrossFit I definitely have become more aware of what I’m eating. I try to more or less do the zone diet, with a cheat day or two in the week. I’ve bounced around with different things but I think the zone is my favorite.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
100 double unders15 chest to bar pull-ups
80 double unders25 GHDs60 double unders35 OHS(75/55)
40 double unders45 wall balls(20/14@10/9) 20 double unders55 medball cleans
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 at some point in life we all tend to overlook how important it is to take care of oneself. Whether we see it as “unnecessary,” or “selfish,” or we “just don’t have time,” somehow I think many people just don’t want to put in the effort. It can be pretty important to encounter yourself on a regular basis and see where you stand. Is this where I want to be? If not, how can I get where I want to be? It all comes back to betterment of oneself. We all want to be better. Investing in yourself is that first step.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
You’ve gotta push through it. It’s never easy. It’s always a challenge. But that’s the fun of it. The WODs are fun because of what we are, what we do, and the personal limits we push. It’s always worth it. Investing in oneself is important, and CrossFit is an amazing way to do that. If you give it a try, stick it out for a while and you’ll probably grow to love it. Get through the tough first few months and you will be amazed how far you'll go--not only in physical endurance and fitness, but in mental strength and mental fitness.
14. Open Forum:
I’d like to thank Dr and Mrs Carroll for starting CFB. And Andy and Mindy and Joe and Bridget for continuing the journey, for all of the thought and effort you put into the Box every day, and especially for all the time and dedication that you spent reprogramming and “thinking outside the Box”(literally) in order to keep us all sane during the first few crazy months of 2020, down in the hollow. We are all forever indebted to you. And to all of my fellow athletes--thank you! For the constant inspiration, encouragement, and Catholic example.