First, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests outside of CrossFit?
I grew up in Southern California in San Diego County. I loved animals from a young age so after graduating from San Diego State University I pursued my aspiration of becoming a veterinarian and completed veterinary school at UC Davis. After graduation I came to North Carolina State University where I joined the College of Veterinary Medicine to specialize in Internal Medicine of dogs and cats and along the way also got a Ph.D. in gastrointestinal physiology. I have now been at NC State for over 25 years where I spend my time overseeing patient care in the NC State Veterinary Hospital, teaching veterinary students, and conducting research in gastroenterology. I live in Apex, Chatham County with my dog (Urchin), hateful cat (Purrhana – anyone want a cat?), three goats (Daenerys Targaryen, Marbled fudge, and Cobbs) and a donkey (Daisy). I enjoy working outside, anything to do with water (SUP, kayaking, jet ski, beach combing), and hiking.
How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?
My whole life I have prioritized work. I have never invested in my physical self. I was gaining weight and giving up on thinking I would ever be able to do things I still longed to do – like surf, climb a rope, wake board, play a sport, climb a mountain. I became depressed and disgusted with myself. I resisted all recommendations that I actually do something about it. When Kate Aicher suggested I could go to “that CrossFit on HWY64 that is right on your way home from work” I said “there is no %$&*$%ing way I am going to a CrossFit”. Eventually I got the nerve to sign up for the “no sweat intro” and have been sweating almost every day since.
What was the first workout that you completed?
I actually cannot recall my first WOD. But I remember being relieved to be finally doing a WOD with the group rather than alone. What I distinctly remember (and will never forget) is the On Ramp. I could not squat – I mean at all. I think Nick asked me if I was okay because I hadn’t starting squatting yet, but in fact I had. I told him if I went any lower I would fall to the ground and I did. I also remember doing my first burpee. I literally crawled down to and up from the floor one limb at a time. I was so scared and embarrassed of myself. I didn’t know if I could do this, but just kept forcing myself to show up.
What are your current and future training goals?
Keep showing up. Keep pushing myself a little farther when my abilities allow me. Keep listening to the coaches. Like the phrase on the wall says – focus on the long term results. Try to be a positive addition to the box – my CrossFit family. Support others like me to be less scared. Keep having fun.
What is your favorite activity or lift, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, front squats, snatches, burpees, etc.?
My favorite activity is probably lifting. It is both fun and difficult and requires so much technique. I find there is so much to learn about it and realize that the form will always be a work in progress. It is rewarding when something the coach has been telling you for months finally clicks and all of a sudden you can lift 10 more pounds than you could the day before. It is gratifying to have seen myself gradually choose more weight over time. It will be so great to one day be able to do the Rx weight.
What is your least favorite activity or lift?
That is hard to say. I think what makes something a least favorite is usually an activity that is really hard to do. But I actually look forward to the activities that are really hard to do because I know those are the things that will make me stronger.
What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?
I guess that would be a recent back squat. It was 100 pounds. It was memorable because Marni was watching to make sure it was a legit PR. I got stuck at the bottom of the squat – for what seemed to be a long time (several seconds for sure). Marni and several others rushed to help me with the bar and I held them off. I managed to stand straight up from the squat. I think Marni said “what the hell just happened?”. It felt great.
What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning and why?
I like them both, especially when they are all intertwined with one-another into a hellacious WOD and the feeling I get when I have finished it ☺
Ice cream, key lime pie, Mexican
What are 3 fun facts about yourself?
When I was in high school I showed chickens and won the state championship
I am infamous among NC State veterinary students for my imitation of regurgitation and vomiting
One of my favorite hobbies is hunting for arrowheads