Give us a little background about yourself.
I was born in Maryland and grew up in Virginia. I graduated from USC in 2011 with a marketing and insurance/risk management degree. After college, I worked for Allstate briefly, and then spent two years working for Colonial Life Insurance. A few years ago I decided to make a huge career change. I went back to school and took the prerequisites for physician assistant school, and am now waiting to hear back from the programs I interviewed for. Applying to physician assistant school is highly competitive, so my fingers are crossed that I get in on this first round. On a more personal note, I love spending time outdoors and hanging with family and friends. I live with my boyfriend, Tom, and our awesome dog Jackson. We are those people that treat our pup like an actual kid…
How did you hear about CCF?
My brother started doing Crossfit in Washington D.C. a few years ago and suggested I try it. I did an Internet search for Crossfit gyms in the Columbia area, and CCF showed up first. Everyone at CCF was so welcoming and the workouts kicked my butt, so I was hooked immediately!
What's one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have rheumatoid arthritis. Before being diagnosed, the joint pain was unbearable and I could hardly walk. When my doctors finally discovered I had RA, I was in complete denial. I was only 19 at the time, and had focused my life around fitness and nutrition until that point. Today, I am fortunate to take medication that has put my RA into remission. I have not had a flare up in 5 years so I consider myself very lucky!
What music can we find currently playing in your car?
I have had the same Lil Wayne CD in my car for years. It must be in there from my college days. I typically listen to whatever is on the radio though, anything from pop to alternative to country.
What current things are you working toward when it comes to your health, training, career or personal life?
Before being diagnosed with RA, I spent most of my time doing cardio type workouts. I ran all the time and never really focused on gaining muscle. I have since learned that strength training is what helps my joints the most. My training goals are to work on my strength and flexibility. I’d like to be able to do unbroken strict pull ups to start. Nutrition wise, I am working on eating as clean as possible. I eat fairly healthy to begin with, but I have a major sweet tooth…
As far as my career goals, I hope to start PA school this year and become a physician assistant specializing in rheumatology. My ultimate goal is to help people that are going through what I went through. I’d like to be able to tell them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It takes time, but with the right medication, diet and exercise regimen, you can live a healthy and active life even with RA. It’s all about having the right attitude!
Tell us about your most memorable workout from CCF
My most memorable CCF workout was when we first started fitness testing, and we had to do 10 rounds of 400m run and 15 burpees. I actually like running so I went in thinking the workout would be a breeze. I was so wrong!! I don't remember how long it took me, but I was struggling. It is always nice to be reminded how I am never in as good of shape as I think I am.
One of my greatest accomplishments was running a marathon a few years ago. I was running at a 9-minute mile pace for the first 20 miles and thought I would finish in less than 4 hours. I hit a wall in the last 6 miles though; and my pace went to a 12-minute mile. I ended up finishing in 4 hours and 28 minutes. I couldn’t walk for the next few days because my legs were so sore! As tough as it was, I am so glad I did it.
What would you tell someone who is interested in Training with CCF?
If you want to get in the best shape of your life and be a part of an awesome community, then CCF is the place for you. Starting Crossfit can be intimidating, but everyone at CCF is so nice and encouraging. You don’t have to be the best or the strongest, you just have to try as hard as you can. That’s all that matters!