Sarah, May 2012

The May Rogue of the Month is Sarah!


Give us a little background on who you are and what you do for a living

When I’m not at RVCF, I work as an attorney at a legal services nonprofit in Medford. I grew up in Ashland, moved away for 10 years, and just came back in 2010 – there’s no place like home!

How long have you been CrossFitting? How did you hear about RVCF?

I started at RVCF in November of 2011, then took a month off to travel, and started up again in late February. I heard about CrossFit pretty randomly – a comic book artist whose blog I read wrote about her experience with CrossFit, and I loved the way she talked about lifting weights, camaraderie at the gym, and the fact that it seemed to be more about pushing yourself than counting calories. I Googled “CrossFit” and “Medford” or something, and here I am!

What training did you do before CrossFit?

I’ve never been an athletic person. In fact, among my friends there’s a very popular story about the time they had to turn on the lights at a high school track meet because I was still chugging along, far into the evening (“There is still a runner completing the race!”). Like a lot of women, I’ve clocked way too many hours on the elliptical and treadmill – so boring. Last year I decided that I wanted to really challenge myself, and I decided to sign up for a marathon, even though I couldn’t run more than a mile at the time. After 5 months of training, I did the Eugene Marathon on May 1, 2011 and it was one of the best days of my life. But I didn’t do enough to protect my body during all that training, and ended up with a pretty serious injury soon after. I just found out that I was selected for the Nike Women’s Marathon in October this year, and I’m going to train with the CrossFit Endurance method this time around

How has CrossFit impacted your life?

Oh man, I’m definitely one of those people who sound like they’re in a cult when I talk about CrossFit. First of all, CrossFit has really taught me the difference between “impossible” and “difficult.” It’s easy to say “I can’t” when the reality is “I can, but, boy, it’s gonna be tough.” I’ve realized that I’m capable of more than I thought, both inside and outside RVCF. Second, it has helped me develop a more positive and healthy body image. I struggled with eating disorders and body image stuff for years, and often excercize just seemed to feed into that. CrossFit is an awesome environment where women are respected for being strong and capable, not tiny. Someone asked me recently if I’m scared of getting “bigger” now that I lift weights, and I had two responses: Now I focus on what my body can do, not just what it looks like….and, also, I think CrossFit makes me look pretty darn good, so that helps too! Ha!

What has been your most memorable experience at the gym?

Doing the Open was a turning point for me. I almost didn’t sign up, because I didn’t see the point since I knew I couldn’t complete a lot of the WODs. But the sense of community was amazing – having people come together every Friday to compete together, having people come to watch…and spending all week online waiting for the WODs to be announced – it was all awesome. It made me feel like a part of something bigger. As soon as the Open ended, I thought “Time to start training for 2013!”

What’s your favorite WOD or exercise?

Well, I’m too sore right now to really think of one I “like”! I’ve never lifted weights before, so just being comfortable lifting a heavy bar is amazing to me. Weights were always something I just didn’t get and something it seemed was only for big dudes. But I’ve seen the error of my ways, and totally love the feeling of lifting heavy stuff. (And, “now I get why people make noise when they lift!”)

Do you have any advice for new CrossFit members?

Give it at least a month. There is a lot to learn (AMRAP? WOD? And why does Kelly pull up only one sock?), but if you stick with it and really give it your all, I know you won’t regret it. Also: quit your whining, it will just make Jake assign more burpees!

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