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

I was born and raised in Northern California and spent 4 years in Chicago for med school. I moved to North Carolina for my residency in anesthesiology at UNC, so I spend most of my time either at work or CrossFit Surmount. In the free time that I do have, I like to read or binge watch Netflix/Amazon. I am usually a scifi/fantasy nerd, but I am reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Borgakov right now and just got through watching Penny Dreadful on Amazon (Eva Green is amazing in it). I can cook, and have been enjoying that a little more lately, but I like being fed a lot more than I like cooking. I love coffee and drink 2-3 cups a day on average. I have 2 rescue cats, Aggie and Archer, and I keep hoping Paul and Jeff will clone Luke, because I want a dog exactly like him at some point. I like the mountains better than the beach, and one of my best friends lives in Asheville, so I love to spend time there when I can. 

How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?

I moved here from Chicago about 4 years ago. I was an avid yogi at the time, and had actually completed a teacher training course in Forrest Yoga, which focuses a lot on strength and pushing yourself past your comfort zone (sound familiar?). However, I couldn’t find anything similar to Forrest when I moved here, and couldn’t find much of a yoga community. I am definitely someone who needs a community environment to exercise, or else I just will not do it on my own. My boyfriend at the time had gotten into CrossFit and kept talking about it…It sounded like fun to me, so I decided to try it out. I like intensity when I exercise and a good challenge, and CrossFit provides both of those things consistently, so I was hooked almost right away. (See the next question.)

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

Oh god, I remember this vividly. It was a community workout at another box. It was a 12-minute ladder of Abmat sit-ups and burpees (1,1,2,2,3,3…). I got through 11 rounds of it, which was a huge mistake. I felt fine during the workout, but I ended up with horrible tendonitis in both of my shoulders. I couldn’t lift my arms for about 6 weeks. I did not let it stop me, though. I realized how out of shape I was and I wanted get stronger and healthier, but I learned not to push myself quite so hard. 

What are your current and future training goals?  

There is so much I want to do! I would like to do heavier lifts. I am really hoping to get >200 pounds on my 1RM deadlift, and >150 for front/back squat. I would also like to enjoy snatching at some point. (I originally typed “enjoy the snatch” and giggled.) I want to get strict pull-ups. I also want to start stringing together double unders, kipping pull-ups and toes-to-bar. I am also working on getting handstand off the wall. I eventually would love to complete an open workout Rx and run a mile in under 7 minutes. 

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

I have actually come to love running. It wasn’t always my favorite, but I now look forward to running days. I love front/back squats and box jumps.

What is your least favorite activity or lift?

Wall balls. I hate wall balls with a fiery passion. If I could take a baseball bat to a wall ball and go all Office Space on it, I would. 

What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?

I know this question asks for one answer, but there are two PRs I am really proud. First, is my mile time of 7:17. I had been hovering in the 8-minute time mark for a while (8:30, 8:15) and was really surprised by the minute drop in my time. It is also the fastest mile I have ever run since I was a kid. I also recently got kipping pullups, which was a huge win for me. I have never done a pullup and I always lamented my lack of upper body strength. For 15.2, I got on the bar and just kind of kipped and pulled, and Marni said I got my chin over the bar. I was totally shocked, but could not be more thrilled.

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

Honestly, I enjoy both. I never thought I would do any weightlifting in my life, so I still think it is really neat that I can do all the different, crazy lifts with a barbell. I also love the endorphin rush and feeling of satisfaction after completing a tough metcon. I’m a closet adrenaline junkie.

Do you eat Paleo/Zone?

Paleo. I was vegetarian for almost 10 years, but did the Lurong Challenge and switched to Paleo a couple of months ago. My energy levels are way better and I have gained muscle, so I am a fan. I eat just about 100% Paleo at home, but will cheat when I go out. 

What are 3 fun facts about yourself?

1. I have a fairly large tattoo of a phoenix, because Phoenix is my favorite X-Men character and storyline.

2. My older brother is my best friend, and I was the best man at his wedding. I threw the bachelor party and everything.

3. I love shoes. I have quite the collection of fun high heels that I almost never get to wear (see the first question), but I still keep buying more.