Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
If I had to “label” myself as a child, I would have been the typical “Tom Boy.” I chose to play basketball and football with my brothers friends over playing dolls with my own friends. I enjoyed doing anything competitively active/outside. Whether that be swimming in the summers or playing basketball in the middle of a blizzard in December, it didn’t matter as long as I was moving. I remember there was one time that I couldn’t go outside and I was so desperate to move that I made my mom time me running from the washer and dryer downstairs to the couch upstairs while trying to beat my own score. The need to always move translated into my career as a high school athlete. Playing 3 sports in high school, my life forever changed my senior year when I tore my ACL and Meniscus during a basketball game. As life moved on, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh majoring in Physical Education with a minor in Specially Designed Physical Education. As a UWO student, I played intramurals and went to the gym occasionally. I had NO IDEA what I was doing at the gym. In my last year of college I started to put together what I learned from school and the endless hours of research online and went to the gym. I went strong for about 6-7 months on various programs and saw gains physically and mentally comparative to past attempts. However, I found myself limited to exercises because of my knee injury and getting over that mental barrier I felt that was stopping me. After graduating, I received a job as a Physical Education Teacher and also helped coach basketball. I really started to notice the impact of my injury during the school day and basketball at night. My back hurt, my hips hurt, my knee hurt, everything hurt. All I could think about was I am 24 years old, how the heck am I going to be active for the rest of my life, if standing on my feet hurts me. So, in the summer of 2015 I decided to finally see a Chiropractor. (Go DOC!) I found out my hips were uneven from the overcompensation of my knee injury. After ONE adjustment and graston on my knee, I am back to standing long hours and running without pain. This is where I can finally join CrossFit!
What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
CrossFit was something that always popped up online when researching for my “gym” workouts. I would watch videos of the CrossFit opens and think “oh my gosh, these people are nuts!” It was way too intense for me and I thought that these were “freaks of nature” kind of people. There was no way in heck that I was going to do that kind of stuff. After finally thinking, okay what the heck I want to give this a try, none of my friends would go with me. Not a single one, not even my guy friends (jokes on them now.) Finally, I found someone who would go(Thank you Deidre) …and the rest is history!
Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
Wait, we don’t have to do muscle ups and air squats like the people on TV? I can use a band to help me with pull-ups? I can do step-ups instead of box jumps if I don’t feel comfortable yet? Okay, I think I can handle this. The coaches were so welcoming and the CrossFitters were as well. We just help each other out and that’s what I think is so cool about it. If I didn’t know something, the coaches demonstrated it. It wasn’t a “you’re on your own” kind of thing like it is at a gym. It was the feeling that if you needed the help, someone was there to help before you could even ask for it.
–At my first few classes people were so excited when they would PR a lift or get 5 DU’s. As a new person, I didn’t get what the big deal was. Now, it’s complete 180. I did a handstand by myself the other day and I was so excited for the rest of the day. It’s not an overnight kind of thing. The hard work day in and day out is what gets someone to reach that little gold ribbon up in the corner after we enter our #’s and that is something I have learned to respect at CrossFit. Now, I get excited when other people PR something or get 1 DU if they haven’t before. The small gains are what really make a difference, physically and mentally.
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
I think when I first started, I felt like I was trying to “catch” up to everyone else. (Not literally, although on the way home from one of my first classes, I called my Mom and said “Wow, there is a 40yr old who goes to CrossFit and she can run faster than me.” [Shout Out to Pam] I had to learn that although CrossFit can be very competitive, that everyone is different. You should compete with yourself and if you do that, then you are the winner.
The biggest hurdle thus far is when I’m on a “capped” WOD and I am just about done with the reps and the time runs out. I don’t think I have to explain myself any more here.
What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
First and foremost, I love that it is called CrossFit and not exercise. If it was called exercise, I wouldn’t come.
I am also glad rowing is not associated with cardio, at least I trick myself to believe it’s not. Mind over matter sometimes, but those are the little things I love about CrossFit. I spent hours and hours researching ways to work out at a gym. Different exercise programs, different supplements, different splits. Going to the gym for 2+ hour sometimes and I’ve seen better results at CrossFit in a shorter amount of time. At CrossFit, all of the planning is done for you. Sometimes the simplest WOD’s turn out to be the hardest. At CrossFit, I don’t have to “plan” or research. I just show up and the plan is already done, by well-educated coaches that do a way better job than I could have done myself.
I think the best way for people to understand the CrossFit atmosphere, is that when you walk into a “normal” gym everyone has headphones on and talking is almost a “no-no.” But, at CrossFit you’re allowed to talk. You can socialize, you can meet so many people, and hear so many stories. I think that is what I love the most about CrossFit. People who turn into your friends. Friends who are all there to do the same thing yet, come from so many different backgrounds. (Life, careers, age, fitness levels, everything…) The best part of it all, is that people will pick you up even after you fail. Everyone is so encouraging during the lifts, during the WOD’s, we are always encouraging each other to get one last rep, to not drop the KB, or to get that PR on the lift. It’s that atmosphere of even if you fall, CrossFitters will be there to pick you up.
What are your current goals in CrossFit?
-To not let the wodify app (snatch)(wall balls) scare me so much that I don’t want to come.
-To encourage people more often, even when I am struggling.
-To RX every WOD.
-To complete 14 DU’s in a row. (Currently 13, obviously.)
-To squat as much as my body weight.
-To compete sometime in the near future.
-Lifetime Goal- Muscle Up, DUH!
What is something we don’t know about you?
-I had previously aspired to become a mail carrier.
-I once caught a ball in center field with my bare hand.
-I am originally from CT and moved to Two Rivers, WI when I was little.
-I teach Physical Education in Germantown, WI.
-I recently donated all of my hair to wigs for kids.
-I once bet my mom that I could score 10pts in a basketball game to get the Razor phone (I think I just aged myself here) and made a shot from the free throw line all the way across the gym into the other basket.
-I used to ride a razor scooter to class in college.
-I crossed parasailing off my bucket list last June.
-When not at work or CrossFit, I enjoy spending time with friends and family doing anything that gets me out of the house.