When I first met Allison, I was immediately super jealous of her muscle tone! So many women shy away from weight training; it was so refreshing to meet a woman who hits the weights hard!! So when she agreed to open up about her experience as a college track star and Crossfit fanatic, I thought what better way to spotlight the joys of being a lady who lifts? 😉 Read on to learn about Allison’s fitness journey and how she found strength (and love) in the weight room!
1. Tell us about yourself!
I can summarize my passions in three words: love, laughter, and health. I get my nourishment from loving the people closest to me, finding laughter in life, and keeping myself alive and healthy long enough to enjoy those things for as long as possible on this earth. A couple ingredients that I believe will aid in my longevity is exercise and fitness. I’ve found joy and fulfillment in sports and exercise for quite a long time. It began with track & field in elementary school, which carried me until the completion of my college athletic career. At this point in my life I will try any sport or exercise that keeps me engaged, works me to exhaustion, and keeps me looking at my naked self in the mirror with pride.
2. What’s your fitness journey? What specific challenges have you faced?
My fitness journey has centered primarily around sports and competition. I participated in golf and volleyball in high school. I was awarded a scholarship to compete in the 100/400m hurdles in college. I enjoy anything that provides a measurable level of performance. Currently I am feeding my addiction for activity at Crossfit Blur in Scottsdale, AZ. In the past i’ve had challenges with boredom and mundane gym routines. Crossfit has served as the remedy.
3. Tell us about being on the track team in college (would be great if you have some pics of this). What did college athletics mean to you?
Participating in college athletics was the best experience in my life thus far. The team camaraderie, the high level of competition, the ridiculous shape I was in for four years, the free education. The lessons I learned from competing carry over into every aspect of my life. Dedication, discipline, hard work, and self motivation to name a few. Priceless.
4. You’re now big into Crossfit! What do you love about it and why do you think you’ve stuck with it?
I started my Crossfit journey just over a year ago. The first day I worked out at my ‘box’ I left knowing I was hooked. I also didn’t return for a month because my body was sore from working muscles in a way that hadn’t been worked since college. It was humbling, but I was itching to get into that superb shape again. I love the culture of my Crossfit gym! I love that I can compete with my own personal marks and with the other amazing athletes that Crossfit as well. Every WOD (workout of the day) varies, I never get bored, and I always leave feeling like I’ve never worked as hard in my life in such a small amount of time. I’m there for less than an hour going balls to the wall. I feel like I’m dying every workout, and it ‘hurts so good’. I never thought I’d get as serious as competing in Crossfit games, but I actually have my first group competition Oct 19th. I’m already nervous with stomach jitters reminding me of race day back in college. It feels good to look and feel as good as I did when I was 19; especially because I just turned 32 years old.
5. What’s your diet while you’re doing Crossfit?
Listen, I wish I could tell you that I follow this amazing Paleo diet. The truth is, one of the motivating factors for staying in shape is that it gives me the freedom to eat what I want. I love food and social libations. What better way to engage in my aforementioned passions than over a nice tumbler of Jack Daniels on the rocks and comfort food? Those would have been passion #4 and #5 respectively. I cook healthy meals during the week and I’m all over the food pyramid on the weekends. Moderation is key for me.
6. There’s been a lot of criticism out there about Crossfit (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-robertson/crossfit-rhabdomyolysis_b_3977598.html). What do you think about these comments?
I like to read the varying opinions about Crossfit and I understand why there has been criticism. Any high impact sport or activity has the potential for injury. I feel as though I had an advantage already having experience in olympic style lifting, plyometrics, and many of the movements utilized in Crossfit. If you don’t have the proper direction from a trainer there is a chance for injury. If you don’t know what you’re doing then its imperative you have a trainer show you the movements in the correct form. That goes for any sport. As a registered nurse by profession coupled with my athletic background; I’m familiar with using ice, heat, and ibuprofen for sore muscles and an occasional ailment from pushing my body to the limit. Whether a novice or seasoned Crossfit participant you’re going to be working your tail off every workout, and proper form and technique is a necessity.
7. You met your honey doing Crossfit! How does having a significant other who is just as passionate about fitness help/challenge you?
I can go on and on about how much I love Crossfit, and one of the best things that has come from participating is meeting my love, Quinn. I met someone who cares as much as I do about physical fitness, and looking and feeling your best. It’s awesome to be able to share that with my significant other. We compete with each other, encourage each other, and he does a great job making sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. It’s a bonus having my very own eye-candy that provides a welcomed distraction during breaks in those really tough WOD’s. It can get dangerous though. I’ve missed a box jump a time or two staring a little too hard at him sweating beside me with his shirt off during our workout. I digress…Crossfit is an excellent way to meet a potential mate.
8. Any advice for people who are thinking about doing Crossfit? Things you wish you knew going into it?
I’d encourage anyone who has a desire to see real measurable change in their fitness level to give Crossfit a try. You don’t have to ‘get in shape’ to start Crossfit. You can begin at any fitness level. A lot of people are discouraged to start because they believe they are too out of shape to get involved. Don’t let an excuses prevent you from getting into the best shape of your life. Everybody has a starting point. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it’s a ton of fun.