Get To Know Theresa Riley

Theresa is a CFP veteran offering up some great insight on facing your fears, balancing training with nutrition, and can relate to all of us in regards to cheat meals.  Read on to get to know Theresa Riley.

What do you do for a living?

I work in a Pathology lab at Mayo.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?

I go through seasons of different hobbies.  But I always love to eat and sleep!

What made you decide to try Progression?

It was a chain of events! After taking a break from running, I sprained my ankle my first day of getting back to it. I decided to take up swimming since I felt I’d less likely get injured with that. But after getting my body mass analyzed, I was told that I needed to incorporate resistance and weights because my bone density was mediocre and that was the best way to combat loss of bone density. Then I was out with some friends and one said they had visited CrossFit and the workout kicked his butt. I realized I missed that feeling of workout that really pushed me. So I googled the CrossFit that was closest to me to see what it offered, and luckily it led me to Progression! I love that it allows me to work with weights and I feel reassured that I am safe and will be corrected if I do something wrong. I really value avoiding injury and being able to stay on track.

How long have you been at Progression?

I started in May of 2015.

What was your experience with fitness like prior to Progression?

I played sports in high school, mostly soccer, some basketball and volleyball. I also did a bunch of Pilates and running. I intermittently did weight training, but CrossFit is my first experience with the barbell.

What was your biggest fear when you started?

It was really hard for me to realize that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was and it took me a while to feel comfortable with a lot of the lifts, I often wondered if this just wasn’t for me and if I should really keep doing it.

Favorite cheat meal?

Pizza!  I also love a good hamburger.

What’s the hardest part about your fitness journey at the moment?

Being consistent with nutrition and finding the right habits that work for my body and my goals. It’s easy for me to decide that I look fine and I can eat that cookie I want, and letting myself forget that not eating well affects my energy and mood!

What’s the one thing your fellow CFP’ers would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m pretty tame at CrossFit, so a lot of people don’t know that I’m really competitive, I love games and beating scores. Honestly, it blows my mind that I’ve gotten to the point of knowing that I’m the slowest person in the 5pm class while simultaneously being happy with my time. I still want to get better, but I’m not nearly so hard on myself anymore.

What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten from a Coach or member at Progression?

The first thing that popped into my head is Coach Erin saying, “You want to start fast, go fast in the middle, and then finish really fast”.  But also that each workout is your workout, it’s not for anyone else. Some days I kill it and some days I just physically can’t go as hard or as heavy because of the multiple factors that go into how one’s body is feeling. It’s important to listen to your body and be okay with where you are at.

How has your outlook on health/fitness changed since starting at Progression?

Honestly, I used to be more scared of being overweight or concerned about what size I was. Now I just want to find what my body is capable of. I like working on handstand walks and pull ups because when I see other people do it, it looks like freedom of movement and I want that. And it’s a freedom that takes work and discipline and the end result is being stronger and feeling better.

What has been your fondest memory during your time at Progression?

A couple of things maybe tie. But when I signed up to be on a random FNL team a couple of years ago and got put with the Wonder Women. They took me right in and I had a blast!  I also have to mention when I fractured my elbow two months after starting CrossFit. I told Michael I needed to take a break and he said that I didn’t need to because they could work with. And Nic was so awesome at being mindful of my injury and finding modifications that I could do.

Why do you think you’ve stuck with Progression?

The coaches and the people. Nic has been a great resource, there were so many times where I got discouraged and frustrated (because I’m so competitive, but just not a big person) and I could say what I was thinking and it wouldn’t phase him at all. It made me feel like any struggles I was going through we’re totally normal and if others can do it, I can too.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who’s just joining Progression?

Give yourself permission to have an off day and to call it that. If you know you are stronger than that, you are, those off days don’t define you or how far you’ve come.