How did you start CrossFit? I started at the CFR last January with the bootcamps as part of the weight loss challenge for the Hopkinton Public Library Foundation – I thought it wouldn’t hurt to lose a few lb and help a good cause! At the time, I was working out at 4 different gyms (I needed the diversity, haha!). After the challenge was over, I decided to try the ‘real CrossFit’ – and signed-up for 2 classes per-week membership. A month later I had to upgrade to 3 classes per-week, as I was running out of classes, and when the following month I asked Drew to charge me for the ‘unlimited’ he didn’t seem very surprised. ;)
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? My first WODs at Crossfit was an experience I’ll always remember as a very humbling, but yet extremely motivating. I thought I was in a very decent shape coming in, and was not worried or intimidated in the least… But then I saw what RX WODs look like – and the skills they required, such as DUs, rope climbs, TTBs, kipping, not to mention the scariest or all, the BARBELL! It was overwhelming (and it didn’t help my self-esteem to pair up with Carly for my 1st WOD either) – but I soon realized that almost NO ONE comes to the CrossFit with the full package of skills – they developed them with time, hard work and commitment. And that’s my favorite part about CrossFit – you don’t need to be a super athlete to start the CrossFit, but with effort and dedication you can become one.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? Crossfit is a constant challenge. That’s the most motivating part for me. You set a goal, you work on it, and when you reach it – you feel great about for a couple of days, till you get tired of patting yourself on the back and then you move on to set your next goal! And there is no end to it, because you can ALWAYS work harder and do better next time!
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? I like box jumps and don’t mind wall balls (sorry Maria!). As far as the strength, I guess it’s a deadlift – the least technical of all (still working on my OLY moves with Carly!). My favorite WOD would include the combination of front squats, burpees over the bar, box jumps, and possibly some running.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? That would definitely be the day I figured out DUs! I always thought of DUs as something only top athletes could do, and I sort of put it on the back burner. That is until my sister managed to do them during our vacation and as I watched her do it, it suddenly became my #1 priority. So I picked a day and decided that it would be the day I’ll conquer DUs – and I actually did it, it just sort of ‘clicked’ and I think went from zero to 30 that day. The entire neighborhood must have heard my wild screams of triumph – scared my kids half to death too.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Don’t be afraid to scale! When I just started I thought trying to do heavier weights is the right things to do, that’s how you build strength, right?! But that’s also how you get injured when your form is far from perfect, and you’re trying to pile up the weight that you’re not ready for! I managed to hurt both my shoulder and my elbow doing cleans and snatches without the proper form, and was forced to modify most workouts with barbells for 6 months until it finally got better.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I have one sister (my twin) and one cousin, who lives in France. Between our 3 families we speak 4 languages – English, Russian, Greek and French. I speak English and Russian fluently, and Greek and French in emergency only.