Meet our August Athlete of the Month: Shana!!
1. When and where did you start Crosfitting? What made you want to start?
I joined a Crossfit gym in Petaluma in Fall 2012. I'd just ran a full marathon and it did a number on my body. My running coach suggested weightlifting to build strength and prevent future injuries. I bought a Groupon to the gym that was the most convenient on my commute to San Rafael, which just happened to be a Crossfit gym.
2. Do you remember what you were thinking after your 1st WOD?
My first WOD was Fight Gone Bad and apparently I didn't understand how to count the reps. For some reason I don't remember feeling horrible after the workout but I do remember feeling annoyed that my score was so low.
3. What do you like most about Crossfit?
Crossfit makes me feel STRONG. It's incredibly satisfying to face challenging workouts head on.
I've also always had a really difficult time getting motivated. It's easy to show up when I know:
1) the workout is planned for me
2) someone is probably going to ask me "where have you been" if I don't show up
3) it's going to be fun. Well, it's probably going to be incredibly difficult but with something new every day and an awesome group of people sweating through it with you, it's not so bad.
4. What are some of your Crossfit accomplishments of which you're most proud?
More than any feat of strength, I am most proud of how my perception has changed. Although not necessarily something I set out to accomplish, I stopped obsessing about what my body looks like and developed a sense of pride for what my body can do.
To wit, I'm more proud that I can clean 145# than I'd ever be to weigh 145#.
5. What is your favorite lift/movement? Least favorite?
I love anything with a barbell: cleans, snatches, deadlifts, squats (overhead, front, back).
It sounds lame, but I really hate farmer carry and T2B, two moves that require grip strength. I keep blaming my small hands, but I really just need to put in the work.
6. Do you have a favorite WOD? Least Favorite?
Up until about an hour ago, I would have said Fight Gone Bad in a "you never forget your first time" romanticized kind of way. Well, I just did it and it wasn't horrible but it certainly wasn't sunshine and unicorns. Oh, and I still suck at counting reps.
If I have to pick one, I'm going with the Bear Complex. Doing that many lifts in close succession while knowing you have to bring the bar down safely on your shoulders requires an incredible amount of control; you can't fake that.
Least favorite: Crossfit Open 14.5/16.5. I don't mind thrusters or burpees, but the combination is deadly.
7. Do you have any Crossfit goals for this year?
Handstands and eventually handstand walks. One step (hand?) at a time though.
Once again, I need to put in the work to make it happen.
8. Do you adhere to any form of daily/weekly diet regimen? If so what does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
Eating strict paleo for a couple years was pretty eye opening to how my body responds to certain foods. Since then I mostly follow an 80-20 approach, doing my best to avoid gluten and processed foods. Working in the wine industry means there's access delicious beverages at all times. I don't drink alcohol during the week unless required by my job.
At one point in my life I considered becoming a chef. Preparing a week's worth of healthy lunches for me and my husband is more therapeutic than stressful. My love of cooking also translates to a love of eating out. Weekends are for socializing and going to restaurants, so that's the time when I treat myself. Life is too short to look back and say "I could have eaten that."
I don't really have "cheat meals/days," but I can always make room for ice cream.
9. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFA?
Hiking is definitely my favorite way to spend my free time. We live in such a beautiful area and I feel so fortunate to have access to so many trails just minutes from my home. If I'm not hiking, I'm probably cooking, eating, or drinking wine, possibly all three at the same time.
Just to keep it real, I watch a pretty decent amount of Netflix. It's all about balance, right?
10. What is one fact that other CFA members may not know about you?
I'm letting my nerd flag fly pretty high here; I will never outgrow my childhood obsession with Star Trek.
11. Who is your favorite musical artist/band?
At least once a week you'll find me singing along/steering wheel-drumming to punk rock, but I'll listen to pretty much anything but country.
12. What impact has CFA and the CFA community had on your life, in and out of the gym?
The CFA community is supportive, encouraging and positive. I know that every day at 6:30 p.m. I get to go hang out with my friends! It's like that bar where everybody knows your name (is that song stuck in your head now?)
The amazing coaches have helped me grow as an athlete inside the gym. When I arrived at CFA in late 2015, I had been feeling a bit "stuck" and unable to push past certain weights. With gentle corrections in a safe environment, I've lifted more weight than I ever thought possible.
Outside the gym, my social calendar is a little busier because of the friendships I've made here. We hike, go to food & wine events, attend concerts, or just hang out. The people are what make CFA so special.
Finally, Crossfit has made me be brave. Knowing that I can accomplish difficult things inside the gym has helped me be fearless when confronted with personal and professional challenges. Having courage to step outside my comfort zone has encouraged me to grow in all aspects of my life.
13. Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions for folks just getting started at CF
You are fit enough. You don't need to get in shape to get started. In every class there are people lifting PVC pipes next to people lifting barbells with 300#. Everything is scaleable, flexible, and tailored to your ability level.
When you first start, you'll see people doing incredible things: pull-ups, double-unders, rope climbs, handstand push-ups, heavy deadlifts. These movements feel like they are reserved only for superheroes, not attainable by mere mortals! Show up, set goals, and put in the work. Some things take months, some take years. Achieving something you never thought possible sure makes you feel like anyone can be a superhero!
Crossfit gets a bad rap for injuries. I had injuries far more frequently as a distance runner. Pay attention to your coaches, focus on form, and listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, stop. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't walk behind someone doing an overhead lift; you never know if they might drop the bar!
Everyone knows if you're cheating on reps. Don't do it.
Be willing to try new things and keep an open mind. Did I mention listening to your coaches?
Everyone has their own strengths. Some days you'll be near the top of the leaderboard, other days you'll be dead last. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you're taking care of your body. Stay humble and have fun.