TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
This fall, I’ll be starting my 10th year of teaching—a year that is sure to be (and hopefully is!) the wildest in my career. I currently teach third and fourth art in the northern suburbs. I also have my own art practice, creating mixed media work that can be found at Transistor in Andersonville and on Etsy. Other than Hardware’s workouts, I enjoy taking advantage being an athlete in Chicago—running on the lakefront and doing competitive tower racing. (Yes, believe it or not… vertical, skyscraper races are real thing that provide all the lovely dopamine those metcons do!)
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?\
I initially joined Hardware as a way to incorporate more structured strength workouts into my routine with primary goals of running injury prevention and improving my stair climbing. I used to see strength training as a necessary evil. I rarely made progress because I hated it and didn’t have enough knowledge to design my own workouts. There are myriad reasons that I keep coming back! First of all, it’s so fun! I thrive in a competitive, challenging atmosphere—so it was a natural fit from the start. What I’ve really appreciated, though, is that Hardware is also a place where we are encouraged to both challenge and respect our limits, and it’s a safe place fail. The playful, positive and welcoming energy of all the members and coaches always makes me look forward to my next class. Because of Hardware, I now value and actually enjoy strength training in its own right. I was surprised at how much I missed working with heavy weights while the gym was closed down!
WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?\
Some of my long-term goals of consecutive strict pull-ups and handstand push-ups are on hold. Presently, my main goal is to maintain my current level of strength throughout my entire pregnancy. (Surprise! There’s a new athlete scheduled to arrive mid-January!) I know I’ll eventually have some limitations, but I’ve gotta have goals!
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
During the shelter-in-place, I finally got my first strict pull-up! After working toward that goal for a year, I had almost given up. As a last ditch effort, I decided to use my extra time at home to finally get there. I installed a pull-up bar, reached out to Coach Landree for help, and applied her stellar advice of doing a little work each day!
I’m a fan of endurance work and intensity, so my favorite types of workouts are long AMRAPS. I love getting into the headspace that they put me in and just grinding it out! I also really love toes-to-bar. It brings me back to my elementary school monkey bar days, dreaming that I was one of the Magnificent Seven (1996 USA gymnastics team).
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
Strict press–It was the very first movement I ever did at Hardware and it has not gotten any easier or any more enjoyable! It’s so hard for me to make progress (or commit to making progress) on this movement!
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
Do it! One of the really great features is the ability to scale. Regardless of your current fitness level, the workouts can be adapted so that you will get a solid, challenging workout every single time! Other than the obvious physical benefits of Hardware’s workouts, they will also grow your mental grit —a skill we carry with us outside of the gym atmosphere.