JUNE 2014 :: ALICIA BANISTER

 In Athlete

AliciaIt’s hard for me to put in (brief) words what CrossFit means to me and how it has changed me for the better over the last few years. If you told me before I started that I would be lifting anything over 200 lbs from anywhere I would have laughed in your face. Although I was an athlete in high school I struggled when I got to college with what to do to stay active and fit. I did the typical run on the treadmill/track at the rec and lift some dumbbells my guy friends directed me towards. I never really stuck with anything and after a few weeks, I would just go through lazy stages of doing nothing. It wasn’t until I moved to KC and joined CrossFit Matters that I stuck with something day in, day out pretty much from day one. I know some people (afternooners) think it’s crazy to get excited about waking up early in the morning for workouts but I love it. I don’t even need coffee. I’m constantly motivated by the coaching, variation of movements and of course the AM crew. I’ve seen changes in my body which are great but the PRs, competitive side and people are what keep me coming for more each day and I look forward to seeing what gains and progress I make in years to come….yes I’m a lifer.

1 :: When did you start at CrossFit Matters and how did you learn about CrossFit? – I started at CrossFit 3.5 years ago after I saw my friend “checking in” on the Foursquare app everyday at “CrossFit Matters”. I texted him to ask what the heck a “CrossFit Matters” was and why he was there so often so he said to come check it out. There was actually a huge blizzard the night before my first day but I committed to my friend that I was going to come at 6 AM so I still went through with it. There wasn’t an “elements” class back then so I was thrown (safely) right into workouts from Day 1.

2 :: What is your CrossFit theme song? – The one jam that can always get me pumped up especially about 5-6 minutes into a Metcon when I want to cry is “N*ggas in Paris”.

3 :: How and why does CrossFit matter in your life? – CrossFit gives me new goals to work towards everyday, new people to meet and a way to stay fit and active that I enjoy waking up early in the morning to do. It teaches me mental and physical toughness and gives me something to be proud of.

4 :: What is your favorite movement/WOD and what challenges you? – My favorite movement although this wasn’t always the case is double unders—mostly because that’s how I’m able to play catch up in workouts. I also heart deadlifts. Fran is very challenging for me because I still haven’t mastered connecting kipping pull-ups and my thrusters could use some work.

5 :: What movement challenges you the most? – Is this a trick? I’m hesitant to answer but… I’d say pull-ups with toes to bar in a close 2nd.

6 :: What is your guilty non-CrossFit pleasure? – Vodka. Lots of vodka. And cheese.

7 :: What have been some of your achievements since starting and what are your ambitions for the rest of 2014? – Learning how to do double unders was a big win—no longer having those whip marks on my arms and legs lead to less questions from everyone. I’d say joining the 200 club (dead lift and most recently back squat) was my favorite accomplishment because I would have never dreamed I was capable of something like that. For the rest of 2014 I’d like to move to assisted ring dips or finally nail down ring dips, get better at connecting pull-ups and toes to bar and increase my front squat and strict press max.

8 :: What is something you would encourage someone considering CrossFit? – It really is for everyone, it can all be scaled and you may be scared to try it but you shouldn’t be. I’ve found in CrossFit a family atmosphere where EVERYONE encourages you to do better each day. I don’t know another sport that is cheering just as loud for the last person to finish something—the support and accountability is unreal and it will help you accomplish so many things you never thought were possible. And don’t listen to the naysayers and haters. I’m 3.5 years in and have 0 injuries from CrossFit.

9 :: What is something others may not know about you? – I think most people know me as more of a ‘sports girl’ but I actually lived in NYC for a year to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) where I studied acting/dancing/vocals. Pretty crazy stuff at 19. Also I love KU…I’m pretty sure no one at the gym knows this!

10 :: What is your most memorable CrossFit experience? – It’s hard to nail down just one but I’d say competing in the Open last year when almost no one in the afternoon/evening classes even knew who I was but everyone was cheering me on loudly and helped me push through those hellacious workouts. That same support carries over into every day class when (often times) I’m one of the last to finish. I love it!

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