In Athlete

amanda-graorI started doing CrossFit as cross-training when I decided I wanted to get into triathlons. Initially, I was just coming twice a week and using the other days for running/swimming/biking. What I experienced over the course of my training was amazing gains in my speed and endurance that even after several years of running and biking I hadn’t found. A few things keep me going – the post-workout endorphins, feeling legitimately stronger after a workout and on a personal note, my sister being diagnosed with MS last year. After that happened, it was much more clear to me the importance of keeping myself fit, healthy and not taking my current capacity for granted.

1 :: I had a few friends in different parts of the country and here in KC that were doing CrossFit, and when I decided to jump into triathlons, it seemed like a natural fit. I started at CrossFit Matters in late November 2012.

2 :: I’m pretty sure my first thoughts were, “ugh” quickly followed by, “thank you sir, may I have another?”

3 :: What matters to me about CrossFit is having this great group of people around you, motivating you to keep going or work harder. There’s no way I would be pushing myself the way I do without the motivation I get from seeing others working hard too.

4/5 :: My favorite movement is double unders! No way I would have said that a year ago, but having now hit both 100 consecutive and a triple under, it’s been a personal benchmark that reminds me how far I’ve come since the first time I tried to do one. The most challenging movement for me is anything shoulder-to-overhead. That handstand pushup still eludes me.

6 :: Ice cream and good beer are absolutely my favorite guilty non-CrossFit pleasures. While I’ve decreased my consumption of both significantly, there’s just no giving up on Glace and Bell’s Two-Hearted.

7 :: Some of my achievements since starting are increasing my deadlift weight by 75lbs since my first attempt, being able to do kipping pullups in WODs without a band and decreasing my half marathon PR time by 10 minutes. My ambitions for 2014 are improving my strict press, continuing to work on my squat form and finding that handstand pushup.

8 :: Anyone considering CrossFit should listen to a few people tell their success stories and just show up to an Elements/On-Ramp class. CrossFit sometimes gets a bad rap from the totally extreme stories, but a vast majority of CrossFitters are awesome, sane, down-to-earth people who enjoy each other’s company and work hard. What more could you want?

9 :: Something others may not know about me is that I always wanted to be a Rockette. There’s still time, I know it!

10 :: My most memorable CrossFit experiences – I can’t pick a single one – are probably Memorial Day Murph, the Hotshots 19 WOD, the RWB WOD for Warriors, etc. The hero WODs and events that bring together folks from many boxes for a unified cause and honor those who devote their lives to serving their country and community are an amazing part of being in the CrossFit family.

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