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

I have a super fly, awesome group of friends. When I’m not traveling for work or otherwise, we meet out for dinner, wine and the usual friend shenanigans that keep life balanced.  I try to mix up my routine with yoga, swimming as much as time allows to stay active. I started working at UNC two years ago as Director of Development to design and manage a new parent constituent-targeted fundraising program for the University. The role is entrepreneurial in nature, which I view an honor to fulfill and feel personally vested in the program’s success.

My three younger siblings and I grew up in Rocky Mount and still reside in NC along with other extended family. Harvey is my dog-boy wonder and he is the best ever.

How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?

I joined CFS in 2015 upon moving back to Cary. I had a self-reckoning; action through anger, and I drove right to CFS and signed a membership contract. So that’s the how. The “why” is personal and raw but I’ll get around to it.  

Before I do, I want to say that I’m one of perhaps a handful of my friends that have joined CrossFit. I often meet up with my friends for dinner right after the gym which for them means hearing my recap of how THAT WOD just sucked and I almost died, for the 85th time. They’re supportive and graciously nod and listen. Thanks, guys for humoring me for another WOD tale du jour!

The ‘why’ I got involved is really the story behind my WOD tale I talk about to these friend when I bitch about how hard it was.  What I’m really saying is that I went to the gym and somehow I managed to find a reserve of emotional, physical, or mental strength that I didn’t think I had. The strength came from somewhere to finish that suck of a workout despite the fact that (insert time frame: years, months, days, maybe even hours) earlier, life got really heavy for me and I thought I would literally break. So, yayyy for that not happening, right? Let’s celebrate and go shoe shopping and eat some barbeque potato chips!

Finally, I should mention that while my physical appearance is what got me to the gym in the first place, its not the reason I kept going back 2-3 times a week over the last two years. I returned again and again because of the mental skills I was gaining: focus, self-discipline, mental fortitude, self-awareness, persistence, patience and remembering to BREATHE!  The physical benefits were just a bonus . The lack of stress management impacted me physically and that had to change. I can’t say enough about the incredible coaching staff and the members/friends I get to work out with who are the most encouraging people I know. Amazing.

What was the first workout that you completed?

Coach Deborah led my very first workout during the Express Class. Oh Em Gee, I STRUGGLED through push ups. I think there were air squats too. It may have been all of 12 mins start to finish but I was a hot mess. Everyone was awesome and supportive.  I drove after home thinking 1 – that class just cheered me on and it was the biggest shit show ever!  2 – I could be circulating around the interwebs as a CrossFit meme right now!

What are your current and future training goals?

Honestly, the goal is consistency. I don’t pull into the parking lot with intentions of blowing out a PR.  There are days I am just grateful to have completed the workout in it’s entirety.  

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

Power snatches, clean and jerks, split jerks, deadlifts, kettle bells.  Air squats, front squats and back squats. My broken ankle and wearing Das Boot refined my one-legged rowing technique those months last year (adaptability).  By the way, I only hate burpees a little less now.

What is your least favorite activity or lift?

The ones related to defying gravity – box jumps, overhead squats and rope climbs. I’m a klutz and (lack of) mental fortitude is why.

What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?

It was a power snatch but I don’t recall the weight I lifted. I was excited since it was one of the most challenging lifts for me due to form.  Once I got the form under control, I could add weight and lift to my potential.

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

I get a twisted sense of excitement when the coaches say “get your plates, load your bar” that I don’t experience when we are told, “grab a wall ball” or “sprint to the flag pole and back 4 times”.  With that said, the strength I’ve gained has made the conditioning workouts less strenuous. #adaptability #patience #persistence #BREATHE

What is your favorite food(s)?

Vegetables in general, Brussels sprouts being my fave of all.  Sushi if I’m going out with friends..  I love and will mindlessly eat barbeque potato chips, and that is why I never have them in the house.

What are 3 fun facts about yourself?

1. This summer I took myself on a vacation. If you’ve not taken yourself on a vacation in a while, I highly recommend you do. While you’re at it, unplug from reality and responsibility as long as possible like I did.  I was relieved to learn that after a challenging year, I really do know how to have a lot of fun!

2. The ending of the movie Uncle Buck makes me cry. Shut up.

3. Years ago traveling for work, I made Vince Vaughn uncomfortable at an Atlanta restaurant. When Vinny and his entourage arrive, I’m at the only full table in the place having a business meeting. He and his dope squad become the 2nd full table and are seated within close range. VV is amazingly good looking and I uncharacteristically can’t stop staring at him.  Apparently he knows it and gives me the “you are totally freaking me out right now” look and that’s the disappointing end to that story.  I never got the chance to tell the Vin how much I think he’s money. Years have gone by without closure.

But at least now I’ve got the 2017 September CFS Athlete of the Month and can get rid of “Vinny V’s Creeper Audience of One” title.  Thank you, CrossFit Surmount!