Tag Archives: interview

Doctor Interview – Scott Mills

When I had a chance to learn more about Dr. Kurt last week, he reached out to a doctor friend of his – Dr. Scott Mills – to possibly do an interview as well. As a result, Dr. Scott was nice enough to answer a few questions about his perspectives on CrossFit, medicine, and more! (Thanks Kurt!)

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a sports focused chiropractor currently at Plexus Performance Care in New Jersey, but relocating soon to San Francisco with my bride, Diane Sanfilippo (known from Balanced Bites and Practical Paleo). In addition to my Doctor of Chiropractic degree, I hold a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and worked as a collegiate Certified Athletic Trainer for 6 years prior to my chiropractic career.

dr-scott-bio-pic1

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a medical practitioner?

Any sound treatment plan must be applied knowing the root cause of the problem. I find that a lot of practitioners learn and use a whole host of treatment options, but overlook a thorough analysis. Therefore, my goal is to find out what is really causing the current complaint. The misconception is that if the patient’s shoulder hurts, the problem is somewhere in the shoulder. This is often not the case. I use a three-prong approach when assessing conditions and determining an appropriate care plan: Is there a movement fault? Is there a soft tissue adhesion/lesion? Is there underlying neuromotor imbalance? The answers to these questions dictate the treatment. This is what I call Performance Care. It’s quick, effective and for my athletes it means resuming the activity they love.

The other part of my practice is equipping people with knowledge to help themselves. That’s why I started the “2 Minute Fix” video series on my YouTube channel. These short videos act a reference for people who want to participate in their recovery at home. I cover everything from sciatica, to carpal tunnel syndrome and plantar fasciitis with new videos going up every month.

Q: What brought you to CrossFit?

I remember in 2007 I was in my first year of Chiropractic College and I saw a few people in our gym doing some bizarre looking workouts. They said it was CrossFit, but I just kept doing my same old lame lifting routine. (As an aside, one of those people is now in the CrossFit games on team OPEX Red heading to Carson City.)

Fast forward to 2012 when Diane introduced me to her box, Brazen Athletics CrossFit Link in Fairfield, NJ. I remember the first workout I did with a class I finished dead last. I couldn’t even overhead squat a PVC pipe with good form. I guess that pretty much proved to me that even as a lifelong athlete, I had a lot to learn and had hit a stale spot in my fitness life. So I jumped in and have never been stronger, fitter, happier or healthier.

dr scott deadlift

Q: As a medical practitioner, what do you think is the most misunderstood part of the CrossFit experience? And how would you correct that misunderstanding?

Of course the obvious answer is the misunderstanding of injury risk. Truthfully, I don’t care to change the perception. People will always engage in confirmation bias when it comes to this topic. That goes for both sides of the argument. We see what supports our beliefs and are blind to whatever doesn’t fit our narrative. Since I see it from both sides as an athlete and a practitioner caring for these athletes, I will say that when applied correctly, CrossFit can help people be healthier and overall reduce their risk of lifestyle disease. When applied incorrectly, it can lead to injury – just like every other training modality. Take running for example: long distance runners have a very high injury incidence, and yet when proper running mechanics are teamed up with good programming, running can have an overall positive healthful impact. Especially when compared to sitting on a couch.

In CrossFit, appropriate application means a longer, slower introductory phase for many people. You can’t take a desk jockey with a 25% reduction in shoulder abduction and expect them to overhead squat or full snatch on day 1, or day 21 for that matter. It also means smart programming, solid coaching that covers points of performance at the beginning of every WOD, and coaches skilled enough to recognize when an athlete needs a modification.

And finally, you need providers that understand an athlete’s body and mindset. If a practitioner’s best advice is “if it hurts, don’t do it,” they are missing the big picture. People in this realm want to continue to train and progress, and simply removing activity isn’t good enough.

This is the kind of model I’ve been a part of at Brazen. This is the kind of model that can lower injury risk, and improve the reputation of CrossFit.

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would medical-you tell athlete-you?

Don’t let your ego dictate your weight on a given day. Listen to your body. Ignore what everyone else is doing. Going back to the discussion on safety, many injuries occur when ego dictates intensity and load.

dr scott jump rope

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box? And least favorite?

Favorite – barbell. I’ve really fallen for the Olympic lifts.

Least favorite – GHD (Glute Ham Developer). I don’t care which way you lay on that thing, I’d like to see it vanish from all programming… and the earth for that matter.

Q: Where do you train? And where do you practice medicine?

Brazen Athletics CrossFit Link / CrossFit Willow. Fairfield and Hoboken, NJ. My current practice is actually in both of these boxes. The San Francisco answer is TBD.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. One of the ideas behind Greg Glassman’s methodology was getting better results in less time. People these days believe they have less time, so of course they will gravitate toward something like this. The irony of course, is that once you get hooked you spend more time training!

But also, people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are in the midst of a total health care calamity. We’re living modern lives that are completely incongruent with what our genetics expect from us. We need to eat, move and think in ways that help our genes express health. CrossFit is a good solution for part of this. This is attracting a tribe of passionate people who inherently know something is drastically wrong and something different needs to be done.

Q: What’s your favorite story (or stories) from your time with CrossFit so far?

I’ll share with your audience a final thought, which was the subject of a recent blog post I wrote, “CrossFit is For Every Body, But Not Everyone.” I’ve traveled a lot and seen a lot of boxes. Diane has seen even more with all of the seminars she used to teach. The reality is that most people doing CrossFit are not games athletes. They are people battling physical and mental demons of all kinds. Diane’s parents are 67 and 70 years old and they train weekly with one of our coaches. Her dad and I golf together and I’ve seen the improvement in strength made at CrossFit translate to his enjoyment on the course. I’ve seen her mom be proud of the things she’s able to do at the gym. I’ve also seen people who’ve lost limbs, or survived a cancer diagnosis continue to come to the gym and crush workouts.

CrossFit is a mentality, maybe more than a fitness modality. It’s a way to approach life in an unapologetically bold and fierce way. So it makes total sense to me that some folks don’t “get it.” Because a lot of people are comfortable with their lives. But for those of us who dread complacency, CrossFit means access to a life of progress, health and camaraderie not commonly found in today’s world.

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A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Scott for sharing his point of view with us. If you want to learn more, you can find him at http://drscottamills.com, on Instagram and Twitter and on YouTube with his channel for 2 Minute Fix videos.

Hopefully we can chat with Diane Sanfilippo at some point down the line as well – I’d love her thoughts on the Paleo Diet/CrossFit connection!

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!

Athlete Interview – Brian Fitzpatrick

With everyone else chiming in about their stories, I figured it was only fair that I should go through my own interview to share mine.

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

In October 2012, I hit an all time high on my weight – 262 pounds – and I knew I had to do something. I just wasn’t sure what.

Me before CrossFit on a vacation to Hawaii in December 2012
Me before CrossFit on a vacation to Hawaii in December 2012 – Look at the Belly! Ugh!

My wife Evelyn had just started training a few months before that at Crossfit Continuum with one of her soccer teammates – Marilee Lake – who was coaching there at the time.

And quite frankly, I was scared to give CrossFit a shot. She would come home from some of those early WODs hardly able to walk up the stairs – and she was an athlete who played soccer (indoor and outdoor) with folks half her age. If SHE was having issues after workouts, how the hell was I going to be able to do anything?

So I started to diet a bit in January 2013 and was convinced by a long-time CrossFit athlete and friend of ours, Charlotte, that I should give it a shot. Everything scaled and I would be fine she said. And she was right.

When I hit 248 pounds on my own, I figured my knees (which were cranky) might handle some additional abuse, so I started at Continuum. Through the help of some amazing coaches – Marilee, Andrea, Eric, Rich, and Jimmy – and encouragement from a ton of other athletes and my family – I started making some progress.

Slow, steady progress.

And I got hooked. When I started I could barely hold a PVC pipe over my head. When I managed to hold a handstand on the wall, I was over the moon. Both my parents were gymnasts and when I sent pictures they were amazed. It only took me 40 years to figure out they were fun. 🙂

Now, two years later, I’m push pressing nearly 200 lbs. and deadlifting 335.

Weight-wise I am now down under 230 (I hit 200 at one point, but that was Whole30 at its finest and felt far too low for me). Diet’s still an issue, but I like food. Eventually I’ll figure out a method to that madness as well.

But I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been in my life. All thanks to CrossFit and a lot of help from friends new and old.

(If you’re curious – I’m writing about my own CrossFitz journey at another blog – The CrossFitz Blog where I write occasionally.)

Q: What has the experience been like so far?

Life changing.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Father of two amazing daughters. Husband to an amazing woman. And all three keep me hopping. We live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Strangely enough, I’m a Colorado Native. There don’t seem to be many of us any more. Lived here all but 5 years of my life when I moved to Phoenix, AZ, with my wife and family right after I got married. But I was happy when moved back to Colorado Springs with real mountains, occasional snow, and actual seasons in 2006!

Past that, I’m a computer geek, gamer, and writer who works as a software engineer for Red Hat, Inc. I have been working from home for more than 15 years working as a code monkey. And when I’m not writing code, I’m probably writing something!

I started this site – WODTales.com – just recently, but have been blogging and writing stuff for tabletop roleplaying games and reviewing books, movies, and music for years. Yes, I am a grown man who loves playing games like Dungeons & Dragons – so sue me. 🙂

If that’s not enough, I love going to see movies and live music whenever I can afford to and still dink around on my acoustic guitar and pretend to sing every now and then.

And of course I go to CrossFit workouts 3-5 times every week.

Taken by Mike Anderson during Kiana’s WOD on February 17, 2015
Taken by Mike Anderson during Kiana’s WOD at Crossfit Continuum on February 17, 2015 – Not as much of a belly!

Q: What’s surprised you about it so far?

The community. I know other folks have mentioned this already. But without it, I don’t think I’d still be doing CrossFit. I’d tried regular gyms several times over the previous 20 years but nothing ever stuck. The routine got old and there was no camaraderie to help push you to do anything different.

Let me tell you a story. Less than a year after starting at Crossfit Continuum, the box moved. It wasn’t far, but they needed help moving equipment and getting things set up at the new location.

I volunteered.

Yeah, you read that correctly. I volunteered. To help move a gym. It was a crazy thing for me to do. I’m an introvert, so doing things with strangers (I didn’t know half the people there) was tough. But apparently I knew enough folks and when they asked – I said yes.

So over the course of a couple days I helped move weight plates, barbells, and several tons of other stuff. I helped demolish a wall that was up in the place that used to hold a dance studio. I’ve never done that before. We helped paint the walls. We helped put down floor mats. My whole family got involved.

If you had told me that I would love CrossFit enough to not only last more than a month but help move the gym where we trained… I would have told you were smoking something.

That was a big surprise. And a happy one that keeps on giving.

Q: Where do you train?

Crossfit Continuum in Colorado Springs, CO

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite CrossFit movements so far and why?

Honestly any workout with running in it is still a goat and I will actively avoid them to avoid pissing off my hip and knees as much as possible. That said, I recently have been able to run 800m without stopping more frequently (we do it as a warm-up quite a bit), so I’m happy with my minor progress there.

But I think push press is my favorite. It’s all up. No squat. 🙂

And when I see a WOD includes movement I hate – like overhead squats and squat cleans – I force myself to get in for a class. If I don’t work on it, it won’t get better and I won’t – possibly – hate it less.

Yes, I’m aware my mind works in strange ways.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

Like many other people, I think the barbell is my favorite. It’s so versatile!

Olympic weights

Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?

Community. Or better yet – Family.

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

I get the chance to work out with so many amazing people every week, it’s impossible to pick just one. CrossFit has become a family affair. My wife did it and convinced me to start. The girls have been working out and enjoying it. And every WOD I get to work with incredible trainers and hard-working folks.

You’ve read a couple of my favorite stories already. And I LOVE hearing everybody else’s!!

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

The fact that it’s constantly changing and that the community is so strong an element. We have some fantastic people to inspire us daily, but ultimately it falls to us to do the work.  🙂

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That’s it! My story continues every time I step through the doors at my box. And I look forward to hearing more of yours, wherever you train. Thanks for reading!

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!

Trainer Interview – Heather Zinser

Another one of the kind folks who answered the call for interview guinea pigs was Heather Zinser, who transitioned from an athlete to a trainer at our box (CrossFit Continuum). She’s another of the many strong, independent, intelligent ladies we’ve met while crossfitting that I think of as a good role model for my daughters.

Heather was kind enough to answer a few questions to provide insights into her experiences with CrossFit so far…

heather-zinser

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

My brother got me to do my first WOD. I was looking for something new to do to keep myself active, so he brought me to the box he was attending at the time. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a big kid at heart: 34 going on 13. I grew up in Wisconsin but moved to Colorado in 1997 to go to college. I’m a pharmacist. I obtained my CF-L1 in March 2013 and also hold CF Kids and CF Mobility certifications. Beyond that I also enjoy snowboarding, motorcycles, hiking, reading, shopping and drinking good craft beer.

Editor’s Note: She also thrives on coffee, from what we’ve seen! 🙂

Q: Why did you become a trainer?

I was never a natural athlete, so everything I have been able to accomplish in CrossFit has been through hard work. I wanted to be able to help more ‘regular’ people achieve more and help take care of themselves.

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a trainer?

I think my main focus as a trainer is encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zones… all while being safe of course. I like watching people try things they didn’t think they could do.

Editor’s Note: I can attest to Heather liking to push us as a coach. I think I’ve heard “That looks too easy – add more weight.” at least a dozen times in her classes! 🙂 But we always focus on form over just lifting heavier or faster, so she offers a great balance in her coaching. 

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would trainer-you tell athlete-you?

Trainer me would tell athlete me to not worry what other people think. I was so intimidated to try new things, I wish I could have had someone encouraging me more in the beginning.

Q: What’s your favorite story from the box so far?

Ok….so I’ve struggled coming up with one story. But what I keep coming back to is the friendships I have made. I have made some of the best friends I currently have, all because of CrossFit.

I also truly appreciate the camaraderie that we have in our box. Its nice to always feel welcome somewhere. Then there’s also the added benefit of being able to stop in a box anywhere in the world and most often be welcomed with open arms.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

Hands down, the barbell is my favorite. Lift all the things!

Squat rack. Adjustable barbell stand. Bench press station

 

Q: Where do you train? And where do you teach?

I train and teach and CrossFit Continuum.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

CrossFit is so successful because it never gets old. There is always something you can be better at. Its also universally scalable to ANY person of ANY ability level.

Q: Who is your favorite CrossFit athlete and why?

Elisabeth Akinwale is by far my favorite. She is so humble, but still completely badass. She is also a little bit older than the rest, which I think is cool because she can still kick the butts of those almost half her age.

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Thanks Heather for answering my questions! I look forward to the next time I get work out with you at the box!

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!

Athlete Interview – Jonathan Grant

The next interview was with athlete Jonathan Grant. Though I only think I worked out with him a few times at Crossfit Continuum, I have participated with him in quite a few yoga classes (taught by Jennifer Ridler) at Continuum over the last year. He has always hit me as a great guy who enjoys exploring the world on his own terms.

So let’s learn a bit more about him!

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

I wanted to try something different as I was not getting the results that I was wanting by doing what I had always been doing. For years I would go to a “globo-gym” and lift heavy to develop the “show muscles” (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs). (Leg day? What is that?!?! Haha!) Each year I gained more and more weight, but it was not a healthy weight. I ate as many grams of protein as I could get, without any concern of the quality of protein source or any other key nutrients that my body needed.

jonathan-grant-1

Q: What has the experience been like so far?

Initially I didn’t really like it that much – I was in more pain than I had ever been in and honestly thought there was something seriously wrong. I wasn’t very good at it, and was in horrible shape. Most men don’t like doing things that they are not good at, so they quit. I however stuck with it and it turned out to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

CrossFit has done so much to change my life and I am so happy that I found it and more importantly STUCK WITH IT.

CrossFit has helped me get into the best shape of my life, changed the types of things I put into my body, but most importantly (and what I am most thankful for) – changed my entire mindset. Between living a very destructive lifestyle and being a part of dysfunctional relationships, my sense of self was horrible. CrossFit has helped me see my own worth – mainly because I learned that “YES I CAN DO IT!!”

Q: What’s surprised you about it so far?

I have been pleasantly surprised how the results gained from doing CrossFit workouts has translated over into almost every aspect of my life. Physically I am in the best shape of my life so that allows me to fully live the active lifestyle that I have grown to love.

Another thing that really surprised me is how CF gyms really are a family in themselves. The members and the owners all have a sense of unity and I think that is due to the same phenomenon as people have w/ their “war buddies”. You’re all going through the same difficult (and sometimes traumatic) workouts TOGETHER. It brings you together as a group.

I’ve made a lot of very good friends from the different CF gyms that I have gone to, which is something that I never really got from the “globo-gym” atmosphere (where it’s more like the African plains – and each gym-goer is walking around trying to be the “biggest-baddest” lion, staring down the other lions to somehow quietly determine who the alpha lion is!).

jonathan-grant-2

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Absolutely! I am the best version of Jonathan Grant to date. Every day I am better than I was the day before. Early in my CF journey I developed a mantra that I tell myself regularly – “Today I will be, better than yesterday’s me”.

A good portion of my life I lived as what most people would call a functioning alcoholic – and I thank God that I found something that helped me change that. CrossFit changed my mind, and self-image, which in turn pushed me to make a decision on how I want to live my life and that the bottom of a bottle is no place to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a drink from time to time but I have come a LONG WAY from the self-abusing, drunk lifestyle that I lived for far too many years.

I am a 30 year old single man who is lucky enough to come home to two beautiful, loving dogs (Sadie – 8yr old American Bulldog mix, and Juniper – 5yr old Pit Bull Terrier). I enjoy anything that involves exercise and the outdoors. Some of my favorite outdoor activities are snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, and running. And I love dreaming up and planning my life’s next adventure.

I was recently told by my Dad that “When you get old like me, the only question you will be able to ask yourself is “Is there anything that I DIDN’T do?”.

I love to learn – and see opportunity in each and every day to learn something new. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends – and love to entertain people at my house at my BBQs. I am lucky enough to have most all of my close family within close proximity to me in Colorado – and my favorite part about that is I get to spend A LOT more time with my amazing sister Meggan and brother in-law Josiah.

I work in the financial services industry with a uniquely successful team helping high net worth clients find effective and efficient solutions to their complex financial situations.

Q: Where do you train?

I train at CrossFit SoCo in Colorado Springs, CO after having a great introduction into Crossfit at Crossfit Continuum, also in Colorado Springs. I also work out at Accolade Fitness in Colorado Springs (non-CF gym).

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite CrossFit movements so far and why?

Favorites
  • Double Unders – I really like DU’s because it really gets the heart rate going, all while requiring perfect timing and what I like to call “hand-ear” coordination. I have also made a huge amount of progress with them in the last year – which motivates me to keep doing them to get better and better.For my first 6-8 months I would just do single unders when DU’s were in a WOD because I could only string together about 4 (at most) DU’s at a time. After getting my own Rogue SR-1 Speed Rope (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ROPE), and some great coaching from the great Loree Smith @ CFSOCO (AND A LOT OF PRACTICE) – I now have a PR of 83 unbroken DU’s.
  • Any type of sled work – I like them because they remind me of my high school football days. It takes total body strength as well as knowledge of how to position your body to most effectively push the sled.
  • Burpees – Yeah I know – “F*** this guy” right? I like them because they are HARD, and I try to be as explosive as possible when pushing myself back up from the ground. I have gotten to where I can explode off the ground enough that I can get my feet under all in one motion. With CF not really having much chest workouts built in – this allows me to work my pectoral muscles.
Least Favorite
  • Snatch – I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but CF sure changed that. It is such a complex movement and honestly I am not that great at them. I enjoy them due to the challenge, but not nearly as much as the other movements.

jonathan-grant-3

Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?

I have narrowed it down to 2 answers to this question – one word each: INTENSE and EFFECTIVE.

Q: What’s your favorite story from the box so far?

My favorite story begins when I first walked into Crossfit Continuum for the On-Ramp course. This story is still being written – with chapters being added daily.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

I think the main reason it is successful and has grown so much is because of the results!! Everyone knows someone who does CrossFit – and chances are they were initially extremely annoyed with this person because they wouldn’t shut the hell up about it! (The first rule of CrossFit is to talk about nothing but CrossFit!) Over time, they have watched that person get into better and better shape and noticed the change in the person’s happiness and overall attitude. Eventually they break down and try CrossFit for themselves and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends…

I think that the sense of unity that members of CF gyms feel opens up the “fitness world” to a lot of folks who have tried and given up in the “globo-gym” atmosphere. That can be a very intimidating / uncomfortable place to be, especially when just beginning.

I personally go to a “regular gym” in addition to the CF gym to isolate specific muscles that aren’t targeted as much in CF. But they are two COMPLETELY different atmospheres. One focuses on looks and status while the other focuses on functionality and fitness.

You don’t see mirrors in CrossFit gyms. You don’t see t-shirts cut into tank tops to expose pectoral muscles or nipples. You don’t see the obvious steroid abusing meat-heads. You just see people working hard, TOGETHER, to better themselves.

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Thanks Jonathan for answering my questions and best of luck in your continued quest to improve yourself! Enjoy the journey and I look forward to the next time I bump into you at yoga!

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!

Trainer Interview – Clare Browne

Clare is one of our newest trainers at Crossfit Continuum and I’ve been in her classes a few times so far. She’s a fun coach and her love for CrossFit comes through every time I see her at the box. I can only hope that some of that enthusiasm rubs off on the folks in her classes (like yours truly)! 🙂

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Buffalo NY and have lived in CO for 9 years. I just turned 25 (again), started CrossFit in Dec 2013, and got my CFL1 this past march.

Clare meeting Christmas Abbott!
Clare meeting Christmas Abbott!

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

I’ve wanted to be an athlete my entire life. I tried really hard in high school, but it turns out I wasn’t coordinated or athletic enough to be good at conventional sports, and I didn’t hear about CrossFit until years and years later when my sister was into it and was all “you gotta try this!” So I did and here I am.

Q: Why did you become a trainer?

I really wanted to become more involved in the sport and give back to our box, but competing isn’t really my thing. Coaching made sense because the teaching piece is something I’m pretty comfortable with and I was able to catch on to things like movement standards, progressions, and cues pretty quickly.

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a trainer?

My #1 thing is obviously to keep my athletes safe. #1.5 (I couldn’t even knock it down to #2 because it’s so important) HAVE FUN!!

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would trainer-you tell athlete-you?

  1. Be patient (with yourself,  your body,  your gains,  your coaches)
  2. Be patient
  3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  4. Be patient

Editor’s Note: I’m sensing a theme here…

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

It’s a tie between a barbell, kettle bell, GHD, prowler, box, rig, and med ball. (Notice that I specifically eliminated the rower and jump rope! 🙂 )

Dumbbells on gym floor

Q: Where do you train? And where do you teach?

Both at Crossfit Continuum.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

I feel it’s because CrossFit is literally for everyone. Every single workout can be scaled to fit any possible ability level. In addition, it can help you get a better understanding of how your body works and moves. And while all of us may not be that interested in the exact science of it, CrossFit will undoubtedly help you be a safer physically and [a more] efficient human being both in and out of the box. CrossFit is about a lot more than what happens in the box, and I don’t think you find that anywhere else.

Q: Who is your favorite crossfit athlete and why?

This is really hard… One of my favorite athletes to watch compete is Annie Thorisdottir. She doesn’t ever seem to show pain during a workout and finishes every one with this cool arms-up-giant-smile-on-her-face dance move thing. (I haven’t found the right workout to try it out myself yet, but stay tuned for that!)

Q: If you could ask your favorite crossfit athlete (Annie) a question – what would it be?

I’d ask her what goes through your head during a workout?… Because you don’t show any pain or stress or any sense of being uncomfortable and I want to be just like that. Tell me all of your secrets.

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

My favorite story changes with every new PR I get to see. I love seeing people’s reactions to themselves when they do something they didn’t think they could! 🙂

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Thanks Clare for answering all these questions! I look forward to the next time I’m in one of your classes! 🙂

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!

Trainer Interview – Marilee Lake

When my wife started CrossFit, it was with the encouragement of her good friend and fellow soccer player, Marilee Lake. So it was only appropriate that she was among the first group of coaches I had during my own journey too! And she has been a big part of my whole family’s CrossFit journey ever since.

Lee was kind enough to answer a few questions about her own CrossFit experience…

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a part-time CrossFit coach and stay at home mom. I have a degree in Sports Management and have worked in the fitness industry for 5 years now. Outside of CrossFit I love to play soccer, hike, and volunteer with Street Petz.

Editor’s Note: Street Petz is the non-profit organization my wife helps run down here in Colorado Springs. They support the pets of the homeless by providing food, supplies, and some basic vaccines through the generous support of local folks like Lee. My garage looks suspiciously like a pet store at times, but I know the folks Street Petz supports appreciate everything my wife, Lee, and the rest of the volunteers do for them. Check out this awesome article at the Colorado Springs Independent for more about what they do!

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

CrossFit gave me physical and mental challenges just like when I was a college athlete. As I became part of a box, I was on a team again.

marilee-lake

Q: Why did you become a trainer?

When picking a career, I knew helping people was my main goal. I started off as a personal trainer. CrossFit just provided me the tools to truly change people lives.

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a trainer?

My main goal as a trainer is to make sure that someone is reaching their fitness goals and creating a healthy lifestyle.

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would trainer-you tell athlete-you?

More mobility! I would of focused more on the efficiency and technique of the movements rather then just weight and checking something off the list.

mobility-wod

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

A barbell never lies.

Q: Where do you train? And where do you coach?

I train and coach at CrossFit 719 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

It works for so many different types of people. You can see young and old doing the same WOD with different modifications. CrossFit also builds confidence and mental strength that can really help outside the box (gym).

Q: Who is your favorite CrossFit athlete and why?

I don’t have a true favorite. When I am competing in a sport I don’t like to idolize others. Everyone has their own story and path to get to the top. I just hope I can write mine someday. If I had to pick one, [I would pick] Annie Thorisdottir because she is always smiling like one of my favorite [Pittsburgh] Steelers’ player Hines Ward. You should be loving your sport that much.

Q: If you could ask your favorite crossfit athlete a question – what would it be?

How do find time for everything outside of CrossFit?

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

There are several stories, but one word explains them all Community. In my CrossFit career so far I have been a part of two boxes, and the family connection is amazing. I had so much support when Clara was born, during competitions, and even while I was the newbie in my current box.

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Thanks Lee! I appreciate the time! I still need to come check out CrossFit 719 and your Oly Lifting class over the summer. 🙂

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!

Athlete Interview – Jennifer Ridler

A huge shout out goes to Jennifer, who was one of the first few folks who answered the call for guinea pigs for this whole interview process.

Jenn Ridler (photo taken by Mike Andersen at Crossfit Continuum)
Jenn Ridler (photo taken by Mike Andersen at Crossfit Continuum)

I’ll give you a little bit of history here.  Though I have known Jennifer (or “Ridds” as many folks call her) since starting crossfit in 2013, my wife Evelyn played indoor soccer against her for several years before that and I heard her name often when games were done. So I already knew of her as a fierce competitor. And you can bet she brings that fierceness to the crossfit box!

It was only when she started teaching a beginning yoga class at our box (Crossfit Continuum) that I got to know her a bit better as the wonderful, hard working lady she is. She’s just one more of the people who make our crossfit community here in Colorado Springs so fantastic!

Ridds was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so I’ll let her give you some additional insights into her crossfit experience so far.

Q: What brought you to crossfit as an athlete?

I was 197 pounds, near obese and very much out of shape.  During high school I was an athlete so the competitive nature of crossfit is what drew me in and kept me there.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am 33 and a new mom. Crossfit through my entire pregnancy and attribute my “easy” labor to the continuation of working out throughout the pregnancy.

Q: What has the experience been like so far?

Wonderful! Love the community that crossfit offers. The competitions are always fun to go to with that element of adrenaline mixed in. Crossfit is my drug of choice.

Q: What has surprised you about it so far?

How addictive it has become. Over the course of 4 years I always come back even during my pregnancy.

Q: Where do you train?

Crossfit Continuum, Colorado Springs, CO

Olympic weights

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite crossfit movements so far and why?

Thrusters and split jerks. Thrusters are 3 different movements in one so it always hurts. Split Jerks because of an achillies tendon repair (not crossfit related) and my foot position has to change now.

Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?

My box is my second home, my other family. These people are always there to support me in anything and everything and I am there for them.

I didn’t follow directions… my one word would have to be Family.

8. What’s your favorite story from the box so far?

Man I have so many of them…. I love how it all started. Out of a garage off Academy blvd into what it is. It is the story of perseverance, loyalty and a family that just wont quit!

9. What do you think is the secret to crossfit’s crazy success and growth?

It works. You are able to build relationships as well as strength. We have a common goal, survive the WOD and talk about it later. Comrades .

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Thanks Ridds for answering my questions! I look forward to the next time I get to WOD with you and do yoga!

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Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!