Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I am 24 years old living and working in Baltimore. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, attended college in PA, and lived there until moving to Baltimore a year and a half ago for my job. By day I’m an analyst at a large energy company, and by evening/ weekend I am a crossfitter, health food enthusiast, yogi, and runner. I also love animals, nature, traveling to new places and anything that’ll get me outside.
I started Crossfit over a year ago as a way to “stay in shape” for the winter. An avid runner at the time, I needed a way to stay motivated to exercise when it was cold out. When I actually started doing the workouts, I questioned whether I was ever “in shape” to begin with and I was instantly hooked. Since joining CFH my running has improved immensely– 5 months after joining I had shaved over a minute off of my previous mile time and I’ve uncovered a love of barbells and kettle bells that I never knew existed before!
When I first joined, my fitness goals were focused on improving my running and being able to perform basic fitness movements that I was never capable of (i.e. real pull-ups and push-ups). What I love about Crossfit is that there is always something to work towards. Once you achieve a goal, you are already chasing something different. Before joining CFH, finding the motivation to work-out could be difficult at times, but now it’s really rare for me to not want to come in. If I ever really don’t feel like exercising, I usually just give myself a day or two off and then I’m itching to get back at it. That’s a feeling I’ve never known before CFH.
What do you enjoy about CrossFit Federal Hill?
Everything! The space, coaches, and members are truly top notch. It’s been fun to watch CFH grow from it’s infancy stages, to adding more equipment, to getting so popular they had to stop accepting new members for a minute, to growing into the incredible, transformative facility it is now. The coaches at CFH are super-approachable and helpful and I really love the overall CFH philosophy when it comes to things like good form, recovery and proper nutrition.
How has CrossFit effected your life outside the gym?
Crossfit has improved a few different aspects of my life. Confidence is a big one– and I don’t just mean liking the way you look in jeans (although that’s a plus, too). What I’m talking about is a deeper form of confidence, the voice inside your head that tells you whether you can or can’t do something. In my 13 months at CFH, I’ve turned a lot of “can’ts” into “cans”. Telling that inner “can’t” voice to shut it has been huge, both inside and outside the gym.
I also care a ton more about what I eat and uncovered a huge passion for nutrition and cooking. I’ve always liked to cook, but after realizing the profound impact what I eat has on my performance and how I feel in general, I’ve taken my cooking to a whole other level. In my nutrition journey I’ve basically gone through stretches of time where I’ve eliminated practically every food group there is (grains, sugar, meat, dairy, legumes, alcohol, you name it. If it’s not a fruit or veggie, I’ve lived without it for at least a month) and I have a pretty good awareness now of how each of those makes me feel. Once you realize just how good you can feel by eating certain things and avoiding others, avoiding the bad stuff becomes a lot easier, and making the good stuff taste even better becomes a lot of fun!
I’m a cardio junkie, so I love when a WOD includes running, box jumps or rowing. My favorite barbell movement is probably the squat clean. Sorry I just gave four answers. It’s hard to pick just one.
Least favorite movement?
3 months ago my answer would have been OHS. But thanks to our overhead squat cycle I like them a lot more. So my real answer is push-ups. Why don’t push-ups ever get any easier? It seems like everything else does eventually, besides push ups.
Any advice for people who are just getting started at CFH?
My main advice would be to just keep coming. You will get stronger faster and better as long as you continue to show up and give it what you’ve got. I’ve hit several “walls” in my training where I was feeling run down or like I wasn’t improving, but I never stopped showing up. My second piece of advice is for outside of the gym– just showing up will only get you so far. If you are showing up but aren’t feeling a whole lot stronger or better for it, focus on what you’re putting in your body and how you’re spending your rest days.