How old are you? What is your occupation?
I am 43 years old. Attorney.
What month and year did you start CrossFit?
What made you Join CrossFit?
It was the snowiest winter on record (2014-2015), and I was six weeks into maternity leave with my second son. I had spent the afternoon walking around the mall with my newborn just to get out of the house for a bit and I noticed that there were a lot of other moms and caretakers at the mall who looked like they had just given up on themselves physically. I realized that I was at a crossroads— did I want to be someone who just “accepted the inevitable” and gained weight, became less and less mobile, and felt uncomfortable in my own skin and body or did I want to make a change? I drove past CrossFit the Swamp on my way home from the mall and I sent an email inquiring about joining that day.
What were your original goals?
Lose the baby weight and feel better.
What is it about CrossFit (vs. other fitness alternatives) that has made you successful?
It sounds so cheesy, but hands down, it’s the community and the support of the people. Mike, Paddy, Jenna, and all of the coaches have consciously created (and really work hard to maintain) a community that provides support and inspiration for all of the members. In my three and half years at the Swamp, I have had a variety of things come up in my life that may have led me to put my fitness on hold if I had been somewhere else. The coaches and the community at the Swamp is invested in me—and in all of the members.
From a purely fitness-focused standpoint, it’s also the Swamp’s commitment to developing athletes the right way. There are no short cuts. You have to do the work, but if you want it, the coaches will give you every tool you need to reach your goals even if they need to take some extra time or try a couple of new tricks to get there.
What is the biggest factor in your success, and how do you maintain it?
Vanity! Ok, just kidding. But seriously, I do think seeing results is addictive. I remember how I felt when I was out of shape and I remember ducking to avoid seeing myself in the mirror. I never want to go back to that.
How many classes do you attend each month?
15-23. 5 days a week barring travel or other conflicts.
Has nutrition played a role in your success? If so, how? Be specific.
Absolutely. For me, nutrition has been as much a part of the journey as the physical skill building has been. Just as I couldn’t go from zero to Rx-ing WODs on my first day, I couldn’t go from unconscious eating to a more prescribed approach to nutrition overnight. Fitness is a process and for me, that means approaching my goals in stages. If it feels oppressive or like deprivation, I know I won’t stick to it. I made small changes—reducing sugar, adding more vegetables, trying to get more quality protein—early on, but I didn’t make any real efforts to design my nutrition choices around my fitness performance goals until three years into Crossfitting. That’s the timeline that worked for me. And the results now that I’ve done that have been amazing.
How much weight have you lost since you joined The Swamp? Any other significant physical transformations?
Since my first day, I’ve lost 22 pounds. I lost about 12 pounds in my first year, and another 8 this year after I started focusing on and tracking my nutrition more consciously. I’ve dropped from a size 10 to a size 2/4 (depending on brand). For the first time in my life, I don’t dread bathing suit shopping.
What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
Ego. Like a lot of people that tend to enjoy CrossFit, I thrive on some competition—whether it’s against my benchmark buddies at the gym, or against my own former numbers. It’s really tempting to just try to skip the hard work and fake your way to a bigger number, but eventually, no amount of faking it will get you there. Owning my flaws and weaknesses is a tough thing for me to do--- it’s embarrassing to be imperfect, right? Of course, when I frame it that way, it sounds as silly as it is. We all have weaknesses, and areas that need work. In the gym, we can’t hide our weaknesses well or for long. For me, step one was getting over myself and asking for help. Step 2 has been (and continues to be) putting in the work.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
As I might have mentioned, ego is a battlefield for me. About once or twice a year, I let it get the best of me. A couple years ago, we were doing “Nancy”—5 rft of 15 OHS and a 400m run. I took on what I thought was a reasonable weight for me at the time (a scaled weight – 45lbs). It wasn’t reasonable for me. I just couldn’t meet the standards at that weight, and Mike called me out on it and told me that nearly every rep I did in the WOD was a no-rep. I was furious and miserable—and I might have shed a few angry tears. But Mike was right. I worked with Paddy and the coaches to break the movement down and build it back up again. Two years later, at the 2018 CrossFit Open, I Rx’d the first portion of a WOD that included 20 reps of 80lb OHS. Hard fought personal victories are sooo satisfying!
How has this experience enriched other areas of your life?
Just about every lesson I learn in the gym applies to the rest of my life. Hard work pays off. Don’t let my ego get in the way. Stop worrying about what other people are thinking—they are too busy fighting their own battles to notice my imperfections. So—all of that. Also, working out reduces stress. There is no better catharsis than what we get every day at the Swamp!
If you could send yourself advice 10 years ago what would you say?
Go sign up for CrossFit now. If I had done it 10 years ago, I’d be doing muscle ups by now. 😊
Accomplishment(s) you are most proud of since joining?
Getting into the best shape of my life—literally, I am in unknown territory at 43 years old. I love that I am still improving rather than looking back on the accomplishments of my youth. The glory days are now!! That, and beating my 24 year old brother at a pull up competition.
What are your current goals?
Just keep getting better and building skills and strength in measurable ways. And a ring muscle up before my 50th birthday!
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting CrossFIt?
Don’t be intimidated. Everyone starts where they start—read Jenna’s article on that one! Come into it with an open mind—you have no idea how much potential you are about to tap into.
What would you hope your CrossFit Future holds?
I joke that the only way I’ll ever get to the Games is if I out-live the competition. Octogenarians, I’m coming for you! But seriously, I believe that the fitness I’m gaining through CrossFit and my community here is going to be the key to aging without losing functionality and quality of life over the next 40-50 years. That’s a long time horizon!