TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
Hi! Ok, this answer in the before times was less complicated than it is now, so I’ll (try to) keep things as brief as possible. I’m an actor (mostly theatre), but since theatre has ceased to exist for the time being (get vaccinated and wear masks, people!), I’ve been doing a lot of sitting with the giant question: “who am I when I’m not doing the thing that I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember?” Yay existentialism! I still consider myself an actor…we’re just all of us in limbo…a big collective holding of breath. I’m just trying as best I can to be grateful, present, engaged with the world and what’s going on in it, and to use this abundance of time to discover/learn new things and figure out how to not suck at wall balls…and double unders.
My side hustle is cakes; currently I’m working at ECBG studio. I also make treats for friends. So if you want a sweet something, let me know!
Beyond theatre and cake and lifting heavy things, I love to cook and clean and craft and write and doodle and play board games. All activities that help quiet my anxiety and squirrelly nature. My sweet husband’s name is Aaron and he’s wonderful, and we have a very fluffy and very (very) bossy rabbit named Phil.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO TRAINING AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
Oh boy. Ok. It’s been a journey. I was a *very* serious ballet dancer for most of my young life; I danced about 12+ hours a week beginning when I was 10 until I was about 16. It became pretty clear that my build and strengths weren’t aligned with what ballet dancers were supposed to be – I was (and am) built like a gymnast and excelled at all the things that men were supposed to excel at: jumps, turns, powerful aggressive stuff. Long lines and delicate softness…not so much. In high school was when I got really seriously into theatre, so ballet (and most physical activity beyond the demands of whatever show I was in) took a back seat for a long time.
It wasn’t until I was several years out of college that I learned that going to the gym could encompass way more than begrudgingly using the treadmill or elliptical for hours on end. I was in the middle of performances for one show (West Side Story) and had just been cast in another show several months down the line that was, arguably, going to be one of the most physically demanding plays I’d ever been a part of. Basically 2+ hours of straight cardio. So I decided it was time to get serious about fitness in order to be able to do this play 8 times a week to the best of my ability.
Enter Adrian Aguilar, also in West Side Story. He taught me how to do my first proper push-up while backstage at the theatre, and then introduced me to the world of LIFTING HEAVY THINGS. Landree Fleming then took the baton from Adrian, and trained me for my very first powerlifting competition. That training cycle was revelatory for me – it was the first time I saw my body as an instrument, not an ornament. Nothing makes you feel like more of a badass than having a barbell on your back. Or picking a barbell up off the ground. Or pressing a barbell over your head. I mean WHAT? The human body is INSANE.
I won that first powerlifting competition, and was in the middle of training for my next competition when the world shut down…and my gym shut down. For the first several months of the pandemic, I made myself go for long walks and runs outside because I was losing my mind cooped up in my apartment, but nothing compared to being able to be under/over a barbell.
Then I came to Hardware. *cue moody lighting and hallelujah chorus*
I hadn’t ever considered doing CrossFit while I was strictly powerlifting, but now that I’m here I can’t imagine training any other way (or anywhere else because the Hardware crew is THE BEST CREW). Being at Hardware makes me feel like a beast, surrounded by other beastly humans, all of us pushing ourselves to be the best we can be. And I think what love/appreciate the most about this kind of fitness is that there’s always something you won’t be great at. Which means there’s always a goal to chase, always something to improve on. I’ve fully consumed the Kool-Aid.
Plus also, I guess some folks might say I’m competitive. If you ask me, I’d say I’m the most not competitive. Therefore I win at not being competitive. I win.
WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
Oh boy. The goals never end. Currently I’m trying to get as ready for the Open as possible…chasing muscle-ups and toes-to-bar and handstand push-ups and consecutive double unders that don’t end with me whipping myself with the rope or throwing it across the gym.
I want to keep adding #s to my squat and deadlift and bench because I’d love to do another powerlifting competition down the line. Plus also I want to keep improving at Oly.
So I guess…all the goals? Alllllllllllll the goals. But that’s what keeps things interesting and fun!
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED AT HARDWARE THAT MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
Oooooh. It’s hard to pick. Every day feels like a win to some degree because just showing up and doing the dang thing is a win. Especially these days. But in terms of specifics, stringing together kipping pull-ups was pretty exciting. And so was getting a sub-9:00 2K row because my legs are SHORT and rowing is HARD. Ditto for consecutive Rx wall balls, see above re: short legs.
I mean how can you even pick? Deadlifts…back squats…squat cleans, squat snatches, rowing, PARTNER WODs.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
Echo bike. Full stop.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT HARDWARE?
Just do it! Showing up for the first time is the hardest part. Just do it. Because once you show up, you’ll continue to surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. There’s a beast in there. Give yourself permission to unleash him/her/them. Go team go!