You may not know Ariel yet, but you already want to be her when you grow up. And I’m sure her kids do too. She’s a role model on all fronts. The level of happy that this woman exudes is inspiring and uplifting. Oh, and she’s a complete superwoman, (with unicorn powers).
What do you do for a living?
I am an RN in a cardiovascular surgery ICU.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?
Hang out with my husband and kids, take the dog on epic walks, knit, spend time with friends, and travel.
Favorite genre of music?
I love most music. What I listen to depends on what I am doing. At the gym I need something that makes me move and I can sing to, (I do sing during the WOD). The more I hurt, the worse the signing is, but it takes my mind off the pain. Outside of the gym it can be just about anything from Classical, to Oldies, to Top 40.
Favorite cheat day meal?
Usually something sweet. I have a terrible sweet tooth.
Chalk, or no chalk?
No chalk. I prefer gloves. But I am trying to get away from those. There is no chalk in the woods and sometimes you forget your gloves, too.
Do you hate wall balls as much as we do?
I actually like wall balls. You hit a lot of muscle groups with that one movement; a lot of bang for your buck. I just focus on breathing with them. And sing.
What’s your favorite movement?
I really enjoy handstand movements. I am not particularly good at them, but they are getting stronger and falling out of them is pretty fun too.
What’s your least favorite movement?
Pull ups. I struggle with them terribly and anything hanging from the bar is awful for me. My hands hurt and I am just not at all good at them. If I had to choose between toes to bars vs. pull ups, the toes to bars are the lesser of two very evil, evils.
What goal(s) are you currently chasing?
Pull ups and anything hanging from the bar! Also, I would like to be able to handstand walk the length of the gym sooner than later. Some days I can get about 1/4 – 1/3 of the way across, so that seems more within reach than the pull ups.
Best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a coach?
I have been struggling with this question for weeks. Not because I haven’t gotten any great advice, but rather it is difficult for me to pinpoint any one single piece. I feel there are nuggets of great coaching doled out every single class. I am constantly learning something new every time I walk through that door.
A very influential coaching moment for me occurred shortly after I had transitioned from “donor status”, (paying for a membership I wasn’t using) to fully committed. I was beating myself up for lack of strength and endurance after a WOD. Juli casually says something along the lines of, “I don’t know, I just watched you kick out a ton of wall balls and a bunch of burpees without quitting. That looked pretty strong to me. That’s a lot more than a lot of people can do”. Nothing fancy, but just what I needed to hear. I still hear her voice in my head saying, “That’s a lot more than a lot of people can do”.
How do you make time to get to the gym?
I schedule my day and appointments around the gym as opposed to trying to fit the gym into my day.
Why do you make time to get to the gym?
After doing something that is so very much for me, I feel I can better do whatever is needed for the other people in my life. I really like the way I feel after having been to the gym 4-5 days in a week both physically and emotionally. When I am stressed, I find I need the gym even more. The positive energy of both the coaches and members is gold. The friendships I have made in the CFP community are so supportive and motivating. I love seeing these people everyday.
How has your outlook on fitness changed since starting CrossFit?
I am so glad to be out of the cardio machine de jour thing! I did do some weight training as well, but it was always the same routine all the time and sandwhiched in between cardio. Fitness, when I was doing it, was boring and repetitive. It was cetainly NOT something I looked forward to.
How has your outlook on yourself changed since starting CrossFit?
I see and think of myself as stronger, healthier, and happier. I enjoy where I am in life and the people I am with. All told, I feel better balanced now that I take the time and prioritize taking care of myself so I can better take care of the other people in my life.
How would you explain the feeling before you get to the gym each day?
Sometimes it is nervousness if the WOD looks particularly grueling, but more often than not I am excited. I am looking forward to seeing what I will accomplish that day and I am excited to see my friends.
How would you explain the feeling you get after you leave the gym each day.
Ready to face the day. Once I conquer the WOD I am ready for anything!
How has your life outside of CrossFit changed since joining CFP?
I think I have an even more positive outlook on life since joining and attending regularly. There is no problem that doesn’t have some sort of silver lining.
What has been your fondest memory during your time at CFP?
It is hard to top this year’s Open and the shenanigans we, The Unicorn Knights in Tights, pulled off. I have not loved unicorns this much since I was about 8 years old.
What brought you to CFP?
I knew Jen Brickley from a mom’s group and we were on similar diet and fitness paths. My path had gotten a bit crooked and I was frankly falling off it. Meanwhile, she had been attending CFP for nearly a year and was posting before and after pics online. Next time I saw her, I asked her about what she was doing and she told me all about CFP. I looked into it a little and decided to give it a try.
What keeps you at CFP?
The community. You can not top the level of coaching we have here and the support they and all the other members provide. I love that we have an entire community that lifts every athlete up to help them achieve whatever goals they are reaching for. The environment of constructive positivity…
What would be your one piece of advice for someone who’s just joining CFP?
Be kind to yourself. It WILL be very hard the first few weeks/month, but keep at it and be ok with the fact that you will be slower than those who have been doing this for years. Give yourself time, scale appropriately, and you will find yourself catching up before you know it. But until then, keep talking nice to yourself and congratulate yourself for every class you come to and for every WOD you faced. Yes, there is a clock and there are other people, but ultimately, the only person you are competing against is yourself.