First, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests outside of CrossFit?

I am originally from Long Island, NY and have been living in the Cary area for the past 22 years. I am married to Mark (25 years) and have a daughter Jessica (19) and son Nick (16). For the past 9 years, I have been working as a teacher’s assistant at a preschool in Cary. I spend most of my time with children ages 2-4.

My free time is spent running Nick around to his activities and driving to NC State whenever my daughter needs me.

I like to hike, run, and cycle in my free time. I like playing solitaire and trivia crack.

How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?

In 2013, Mark and I were training for a marathon. Mark felt that I would benefit from some strength training in addition to running. I had been a member of local gyms in the past (Pulse, Impact) and liked working out in a group. I was looking for something different than was offered at your typical gym and I knew I wasn’t going to work out on my own. Mark had seen the CrossFit Surmount sign, did some research, and talked to Paul. Mark proceeded to sign me up. Mark knows me well and I trusted him to not sign me up for something beyond my capability. However, I had no idea what I was getting into when I walked into my first Foundations class. I figured I was already in shape. How bad could it be? I was sore for days just from the introductory class and wasn’t too sure about this CrossFit stuff. Pull-ups, box jumps, rings dips, wall balls, kettle bells? The workouts looked like it was more for the younger crowd. Paul assured me I could scale anything. He was right!

What was the first workout that you completed? What do you remember most about the workout?

I can’t remember the first workout I did but I do remember having trouble walking up and down the stairs for weeks.  There was one workout in the beginning where we were doing 100 burpees for time with a 15-minute time cap. I remember everyone else finishing well within the time cap while I struggled. At 15 minutes, the coach asked what number I was on and I could barely get the words out. I wasn’t quite done but, thankfully, the coach let me finish.

What are your current and future training goals?

My main goal is to be injury free. I had elbow surgery about a year ago and left CFS for about 6 months. Mark says I drove him crazy not being able to work out. (That’s not how I remember it!) Now I am much more cautious about increasing the weight too quickly. Form is more important to me than weight and speed. My other goals include stringing double unders together (only two in a row so far), and performing unassisted pull-ups and handstands. Forget about handstand push-ups, I just want to do a handstand by myself.

What is your favorite activity or lift, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, front squats, snatches, burpees, etc.?

I like to run. I like running at a steady, though not always fast, pace. It gives me time to think. It’s very therapeutic. Also, I like squats and any movement that works the abdominals (Abmat sit-ups, toes to bar, planks).

What is your least favorite activity or lift?

I dislike anything where the weight is over my head, specifically snatch and the overhead squat. I also have a deep dislike for wall balls and the bench press.

What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?

I am proud that I can get through the WODs and still be able walk out the door and drive home.

What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning and why?

I like doing both strength and conditioning.

Do you eat Paleo/Zone?

Before CrossFit, I had no idea what the Paleo diet was. I don’t always eat the healthiest food and I don’t like to cook. I joined the Lurong Challenge this year to develop better eating habits. Despite the fact that I dislike most vegetables, I ate asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower. And I cooked. Every day. I am not sure how much of this diet I will be able to follow once the challenge is over but I am more aware of what I am eating. It would help if I had someone else cooking for me. Yup, a personal chef, that would help!

What are 3 fun facts about yourself?

  1. I have a Masters degree from Va Tech (Go, Hokies!) in Entomology (the study of insects). I worked as a research associate at NC State many years ago (before kids, seems like a different lifetime).
  2. Mark and I own a tandem bicycle that we used to ride all over the place while we lived in Colorado. I have gone flying down mountains roads on the back of a bicycle at nearly 50 mph. Crazy! What was I thinking? In situations like that, you really have to put your trust in the person sitting in the captain’s seat.
  3. I don’t drink coffee. I have never like it.