Welcome to my feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!
Today I am spotlighting Sarah. Sarah is a coach at my box CrossFit En Fuego and is a member of the competition team as well. Sarah is an amazing coach, and an amazing woman. Like all the coaches at my box, Sarah puts safety and technique ahead of speed and weight. She's inspiring, motivating, super funny, and so kind. I'm happy that she's in my life.
Name: Sarah L.
Occupation: Crossfit Trainer/Mom
Favorite WOD:Flilthy Fifty
Favorite Lift: Hang Clean
Deadlift Max: 235lbs.
Back squat Max: 165lbs
Overhead Max: Which lift? Jerk 130lbs
Favorite Girl? Grace
Got Muscle-ups? Did a bar muscle up once but haven't been able to try it again without hurting my shoulder. :-(
1 mile run:7:17
How long have you been CrossFitting? I have been crossfitting for over 3 years.
What keeps you coming back/motivated? Hmm....well I would have to say a couple of things keep me coming back. First off, I can't deny that I love the "high" I feel after a WOD! However, I think the thing that has kept me loving it over 3 years later has to be the people. It is something really special to be a part of a community of people who thrive on encouraging others to succeed, even if it makes the other person better than them. I love that energy!!! I love watching people peel themselves off the floor after the last rep in a wod, and dragging their exhausted bodies over to a fellow crossfitter and encouraging them to keep on pushing through the pain. Sometimes its me cheering, sometimes its others cheering me on. Either way, it is AWESOME!
How did you find CrossFit? My husband gets me into everything cool! He had been looking into something to keep up his fitness for mountain biking. I remember him doing some crazy looking workouts in our back patio. He built a box for box jumps and rigged some crazy set up in our garage with rings for some ridiculous movement he called muscle ups. He tried to get me to try it, but I specifically remember saying "um, yeah, that's not for me!" Little did I know. So about a year later, I gave in a tried my first crossfit workout. Looking back, he says it was a modified Crossfit Kids workout!! It killed me. I was huffing and puffing like never before. Shortly after that, I joined a Crossfit type gym. After about a year, I started Crossfitting at Crossfit En Fuego and that is where I feel like it really all began for me.
What is your athletic background? I was the captain of the swim team in High School, which was like forever ago. Then I did some occasional 5ks, triathlons, got into Spinning for a while, road cycling, just kinda flip flopped around to whatever my hubby was doing. In 2009, I got addicted to mountain biking. We were going every single weekend and sometimes during the week to ride at Alafia, Boyette, Carter Rd, or Santos. I did a couple of races and just loved the heck out of the challenge of it! That is what prompted me to try Crossfit after all that time my hubby was doing it. I wanted to increase my stamina for mountain biking!
How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? Wow, well this is a big one for me on many levels. First off, after a year at En Fuego, I decided to become Level 1 certified. Shortly after that, I began coaching classes and realized that I could use my skills from my BA in Education (ESE) to be the best coach I could be. After about 6 months of coaching, I helped create, organize, and run the Premier program at our box. This program is designed to give people who are intimidated by what they see on ESPN or are looking for a small group setting, maybe have old injuries to be concerned about, or who maybe just don't have an interest in ever doing a fill in the blank (handstand push up, rope climb, muscle up, etc.) a small group super supportive environment to get in shape and conquer fears just like any other Crossfitter. I am very proud of this program! Also, last year, I decided I wanted to help myself and others become better runners, so I got certified as a Crossfit Endurance coach. We offer a weekly Endurance class that meets at the track and I do monthly Running/Rowing clinics to help our members become more confident, efficient, injury free runners. Again, I am so proud of these programs, and nothing makes me happier than having a member come tell me "I ran the way you taught me and I felt great" or "I Pr'd" or "it didn't hurt my knees when I did it that way". Seriously, not much is better than that feeling I get! Also, early this year, I went to the Coach's Prep Course, which is the next level of our certification. I love learning...I want to see people safe, strong, and successful. It truly makes me happy! As far as my level of fitness goes, and I guess I'll keep this short...haha! I couldn't do an air squat. I was terrified to kick up into a handstand and didn't even try for almost a year. Anything that felt heavy to me scared me. I had never done ANY Olympic or power lifting. I tell myself the same things I tell our members...it all takes time. I have learned that I need to be patient and remind myself where I started. It helps put things in perspective. This year has been a big learning year for me. I have learned that I can't be the best athlete, best mom, best coach, best wife, best friend, etc... I have decided that I want to be the best mom, best wife, and dedicated coach, good athlete, etc. So my fitness goals have changed because of that. It actually has given me a freedom.
What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? There are soooo many but I don't think there is a moment as great as the first Crossfit Open in 2011 (I think). We had a very small, and pretty much average team. (I think that year we came in dead last for our region!) At the time, I had never done anything more than one 90# power clean. The wod for the week was 1 squat clean and jerk AMRAP 5 minutes at 110# for women. I spent the entire week doing everything I could to get that one clean, then front squat, then jerk. All three were going to be PRs for me. One the very last day before the scores had to be submitted, I actually PR'd and got all three. It was an absolutely huge accomplishment for me and a true lesson of determination.
What motivates/inspires you? Oh gosh every single person that walks in the doors. First timers, coach potatoes, athletes, moms, dad, teens, kids, seriously, they all inspire me. The hardest thing to do is walk in for the first time. I try to walk up to or if I'm busy, at least smile at every new face I see because we all know how it feels in that moment.
What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? As an athlete, I would have to say, building my confidence with the heavy weight. Am I where I want to be? No, but I am proud of the confidence I have gained to get under heavy weights. My head is my biggest enemy! As a coach, I would definitely say the Premier Program and Crossfit Endurance/Running & Rowing 101.
Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit? Honestly, I have been doing this long enough to know that with every achievement comes a long list of other goals. So, I have to say my goal is to continue to become more confident with handstand push ups and heavy weights. If I can figure out a way to do muscle ups without hurting my shoulder, I'd like to get back to trying to master those.
What goals have you achieved in CrossFit? Many I have mentioned already...but some that stand out for me. At the beginning of the year, ran my first half marathon, with never having run more than 7.5 miles and did it in only 3 minutes off my goal time at 2:13. I had NEVER in my life been able to do strict push ups, pull ups or rope climbs. I remember PE as a kid, humiliating!! Now, I can do both for reps, in a WOD without thinking about it. The other day I did 6 strict pulls in a row! :-) When I started, I could barely hold myself up moreless do a dip. I mean, did girls even do that?? I still struggle with them, but I CAN do them with a full range of motion on the rings. So many things. Too many to mention. Other than running, almost every movement has been a process for me. I have never been one to pick up something quickly. Especially in Crossfit. Everything I can do now, I have worked HARD to make it happen!
Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? Swimming, Mountain Biking, SUP, Reading, Volunteering at my kids' school
Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30? I did Paleo for about a year in an effort to help with my arthritis and hypoglycemia (which it did significantly for both, esp the arthritis). However, I don't do it anymore since I have been trying to put on weight for the past year. I eat gluten free and mostly clean and it has kept the arthritis issues at bay. I don't do sugar, other than foods like rice and occasional gluten free bread.
What is your favorite meal? Is it cheesy to say homemade taco salad?? Has to have fresh guac, cilantro, maybe some corn chips in there. Ok, definitely some corn chips in there! Oh and this thing that Jen makes, fried tostones with shredded chicken and guac. Ok and a cheat, strawberry shortcake!
Any advice for new members? Just keep coming back!!! Put your workout on your weekly schedule. That's what I have to do to make it happen. Once you have been doing it a for a few months, join one of our WHole 30 Challenges and take your health to the next level!! Other than that, be safe, be smart and listen to your gut about the weights and movements. If you don't feel like you are ready yet, wait until next time. This is a journey. You won't ever get THERE. Where ever THERE is. I mean look at Rich Fronning, wins the Crossfit Games. Then what's next?? Being the first one to do it twice, then three times....
I love this quote "with every achievement comes a long list of other goals." She hit the nail on the head with that one.
What's something you've done that has inspired you to go for something bigger??