How old are you? What is your occupation?

32 years old. Physical Therapist at Boston Sports Medicine in Swampscott.

What month and year did you start CrossFit?

August 2017

What made you Join CrossFit?

I have always prided myself on being very strong, both in athletics and in functional activities. When I was in my third trimester of pregnancy, I developed pneumonia and had become so de-conditioned, that one day postpartum, I was brushing my teeth and my legs were shaking underneath me, just being fatigued from holding up my body weight. I knew immediately I had to get myself back in the gym. When two friends made separate comments that CrossFit would be up my alley, I took them up on it and am so grateful that I did.

What were your original goals?

To get back in shape and rediscover myself after having a baby.

What is it about CrossFit (vs. other fitness alternatives) that has made you successful?

I’ve always been drawn to functional fitness, weightlifting, and competitive sports for exercise. I like the challenge of CrossFit as it is the quintessential “up the ante”. There’s never a ceiling. You can always better yourself in terms of how much you lift and how quickly you complete the workout, or even with progression of movements from scaled to standard.

What is the biggest factor in your success, and how do you maintain it?

Consistency. Adhering to a regular schedule, working out alongside the same athletes that motivate you to be better, and keeping your nose to the grindstone.

How many classes do you attend each month?

16 to 18

Has nutrition played a role in your success?  If so, how? Be specific.

I spent the first year of CrossFit struggling to find consistency in my nutrition. Nothing stuck. It was evident in the lack of weight loss and the sluggishness in some workouts, if I had a beer or ate poorly the day before. Although I was getting fitter, I still struggled and felt disappointed in myself, knowing I could be doing more. The turnaround came this summer in a hot workout when I almost fainted, pushing myself too hard on no breakfast and poor hydration. I realized I had to make a nutritional change to be the athlete I wanted to be. That was the “aha” moment. It was no longer about losing weight, but about being a stronger athlete. By cutting out caffeine, making sure to drink a gallon of water a day, and eliminating processed foods, I am seeing rapid progress now, and I finally feel like I have settled in to myself competitively and personally.

How much weight have you lost since you joined The Swamp? Any other significant physical transformations?

Since starting the Swamp, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Most of which came off after my recent nutritional changes. And good news, I can brush my teeth now without a fear of falling over!

What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

I have a bad tendency to compare myself to others and to beat myself up when I don’t perform or achieve standards set for myself. That can be a nasty black hole in this sport, as there will always be someone doing something faster or better than you. When I got out of my own way mentally, I realized even the smallest of my accomplishments were celebratory and each individual achievement only propelled my performance further.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?

The week of my one-year anniversary. I have never stuck with one individual activity that long, as I am easily bored by things when I stop feeling challenged. I’d been fortunate to get on the Swamp leaderboard for heavy lifting shortly after starting, but this particular week, I placed on a benchmark WOD, going sub-5 for Randy. I also finished first in another WOD later that week, taking 2 minutes off my prior time. It was revolutionary mentally to realize I CAN excel at this.  

How has this experience enriched other areas of your life?

CrossFit has been revolutionary, not only in helping me regain my sense of self after becoming a new mom, but by improving my confidence and productivity in both my personal and professional lives. The carryover on mechanics and movement patterns has influenced my treatments as a physical therapist and altered my approach to educating patients.

If you could send yourself advice 10 years ago what would you say?

Find yourself a box. Make some friends there. Dedicate yourself to being better every day. Eat clean. And you’ll find your happy.

Accomplishment(s) you are most proud of since joining?

Completing a full year of consistent participation. Deadlifting 315#. Running my fastest mile in over 4 years. Running my first 10k. Getting my first handstand. Making strong friendships. Finding myself again.

What are your current goals?

To be as consistent about my nutrition as I have been about attending. To cut weight and move faster. To achieve toes-to-bar and get my first pull up. To keep pushing my boundaries and evolve in the sport.

What advice would you give someone thinking of starting CrossFit?

The longer you think about it, the less progress you’re making. Get started! Be easy on yourself early on, and then put the pedal to the metal.

What would you hope your CrossFit Future holds?

Many more healthy, competitive years to come.