TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
I have an MA in psychology and currently work with the homeless. My husband is working on his PhD at Loyola so he’s able to be home with our kids during the day, and when I get home he passes the baton onto me. It’s kind of a crazy schedule, but it’s temporary, and we’ve made it work for us.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
I simply wanted to get stronger for the sake of my growing kids, and my brother-in-law planted the CrossFit seed a few Christmases ago. I had my own preconceived notions about CrossFit, but my brother-in-law was able to convince me even someone like me (no previous weightlifting or athletic experience) wouldn’t be out of place at a box. Convincing me of that was quite a feat on its own, considering that the last organized sport I played was first grade softball where I spent most of my time making flower necklaces in left field. When I decided to return to a gym, CrossFit came to mind again. I found Hardware, which offered the early morning classes I wanted, required no contract, and was within walking distance—so pretty much I had no excuse NOT to try it out. I kept coming back because I found I actually enjoy lifting weights! I wasn’t lifting a lot, but the pride I experienced when hitting small milestones kept me chasing more.
WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
I had a lot of fitness goals that I had been making baby steps towards until I became pregnant, then the progress halted and my goals have been to simply get out of breath and lift something heavy on a regular basis. As for post-partum fitness goals, I’m inspired by “the CrossFit pyramid,” which says nutrition is the foundation for CrossFit, and the next step is metabolic conditioning, then gymnastics, then weightlifting, then sport. I’m eager to physically be in a place where I can work on improving my conditioning and gymnastics, two things I neglected pre-pregnancy and obviously were very limited once I became pregnant.
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
What I’m most proud of isn’t anything physical, it’s mental. For the first few months, I had so much anxiety about not “fitting in.” I would be walking to the gym and think, “I could just turn around right now, go home, and not have to deal with the insecurities going through my head.” I would intentionally not look at the conditioning ahead of time so I wouldn’t scare myself into staying home. I was always honest about my mental hang ups with the coaches and athletes, though, and, lo and behold, everyone could relate! The anxiety didn’t go away overnight, but I’m proud that I took the time to chip away at it and not let it keep me from something that has turned out to be so rewarding.
But making “Athlete of the Month” is another highlight for me, not going to lie :)
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
Pay as much attention to the mental work as you do the physical work. Comparing yourself to others or telling yourself what you “should” be capable of is, in my experience, more likely to make you quit than a really tough work out.