Happy FOUR Year TSCF Anniversary Katie, AKA Sunny D!
What was your life like before you started training with True Spirit CrossFit?
When I was younger, I played a variety of sports, including field hockey, fastpitch softball, and horseback riding, but since college, I’ve relied mostly on running for exercise. Like so many people do, I had let an old injury, my busy job and hectic home life push my own wellness to the bottom of the priority list. Leisurely jogs a couple of days a week were no longer keeping me in shape to keep up with my kids and pursue the life I really wanted.
What brought you to True Spirit CrossFit in the first place?
One word: Dover. I had taught with Chris Dover for a number of years and was inspired by the strength and stamina she had, both as a teacher and an athlete. I wanted to try something new, I needed a push, and it was because of her honesty and open invitation that I finally got the courage to walk through the door. I couldn’t be more grateful to her. While I certainly still enjoy the solitude of a long, solo run occasionally, I have realized that I need a team to really sustain my efforts. Looking back, it was easy to see that I am always at my strongest when I have teammates supporting me and encouraging me to try new things. Dover encouraging me to check out True Spirit helped me relearn this important lesson.
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
My first impression of CrossFit in general was that I would never be in good enough shape to even get started. “I’m a busy, working mother of two who is years past her physical prime,” I thought. “How could I ever keep up with those elite athletes?” I was overwhelmed, honestly. Maybe a little bit terrified. More specifically, though, my first impression of True Spirit was that while I had a heckuva lot to learn, I had found a place where I would be supported throughout that process. My impression of True Spirit hasn’t changed at all; I love this place! And my impression of CrossFit has really expanded to a deeper understanding that there are ways to scale every workout for every athlete. CrossFit is about growth, no matter where you begin.
What was the first thing fun or positive thing you experienced while training with us?
One of the first positive experiences I had at True Spirit was realizing just how important technique is when your aim is to lift heavy. I have always enjoyed endurance and I think of myself as a fairly flexible person, but the barbell used to terrify me. I’ve never thought of myself as being strong. The first day I went for a three-rep deadlift max, my coach had me attempt it barefoot. My running shoes were pitching me forward, making it tough to keep my weight in my heels. When I got in the proper position, I was surprised how much weight I could move. I realized I had a lot to learn about how technique and strength go hand-in-hand, but I also felt really eager to learn it. Finding joy in learning a new sport keeps me motivated to stick with CrossFit. As adults, we don’t always take time to learn new things, but embracing this adventure has made me realize just how much I enjoy doing so.
Are you working on any special CrossFit related skill now?
I could say that my goal is to deadlift more than my bodyweight, to set a new clean and jerk PR, or to perfect my push-up, but honestly, the CrossFit skills I enjoy working on right now are the things we used to do with ease as kids, like handstands, crab walks, leaping, and jumping. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously and often these are the skills that transfer most directly to wrestling my boys after dinner or chasing my dog downhill on a hike. It’s also a good reminder to have fun with fitness. As our coaches tell us, “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
How has you life changed since training with TSCF?
Since I began training with TSCF, I’ve been reminded that wellness is more about what your body can do than how it looks. Granted, it’s nice to see muscles resurface that I haven’t seen since field hockey two-a-days in college, but really, the focus at TSCF is on overall wellness--endurance, strength, nutrition, sleep, mindset, etc.--and that helps keep me from getting discouraged when I don’t look like my twenty-year-old self despite the effort. Most of all, though, I would say that I feel happier and I am overwhelmed by a desire to keep coming back for more!
What's your favorite True Spirit CrossFit memory?
There are countless moments I’ll never forget from True Spirit, small victories like a ten-second gain on my flexed arm hang or the relief I feel every time I see running instead of heavy lifting in the WOD lineup, but there is one moment that repeats for me and I’ll mention it here as a shout-out to my fellow early birds. A favorite class of mine is the 6am; I love to get up early. When I’m driving out Main Street in the predawn hours and I get through the light at Highland, there’s only a mile left until the gym. I love looking ahead of me into the dark, down the straight stretch of Frontage Road, because if I’m lucky, I’ll catch a glimpse of a right-turn signal flashing on a vehicle heading into Shawnee Drive and I’ll know I’m not alone. I’m not in this pursuit of wellness alone. And isn’t that what CrossFit’s all about?
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