How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD?
I am forever in debt to Samantha Greenspun for introducing CrossFit (and CrossFit NOLA) to me. I was having dinner with a group of friends and I told them that I have never been able to do one pull up in my life and it is one of my biggest lifelong goals! Sam told me about her dad, who was able to do a pull up once he joined CrossFit. She insisted that her dad couldn’t do a pull up before either and that was it, I decided to give it a try. My plan was to see if I make a significant progress toward this goal within one year and go back to Tulane’s gym if I didn’t. To my surprise, I was able to do one pull up in about 6 months of joining CrossFit NOLA.
What I clearly remember about my first WOD, which was in the first class of the Fundamentals, is that I was not thinking about anything other than the WOD! One of the reasons that I love CrossFit so much is that I leave all of my stresses right by the door when I walk in and my concentration is all on not passing out and not finishing too much behind everybody else! The physical pressure (and the fact that I am out of shape) makes it impossible to think about anything else and that actually allows my brain to rest!
When did you first come to CrossFit NOLA?
My first time was my first Fundamental class, August 2016.
How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally take (times and specialties)?
I started with 10 days per month for the first year. I had to rest for one day before I can go back to the gym. Starting in October 2017, I was ready to add more days and thanks to the student discount, I switched to the unlimited version and 5days a week has become my new norm. I still need the weekends to recover.
I attend the WOD classes and usually on or after 5:30 pm. I have tried early morning classes, but I couldn’t sustain it because I was so tired after the classes and I was not able to work effectively throughout the day.
What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit NOLA?
Not in any specific order: First, CrossFit NOLA really helps me deal with daily stresses. Second, I am really pushed to my limits in a way that going to Tulane’s gym and working out on my own never got me there. I always tell my friends that I have never sweat as much as I do in CrossFit classes. Third, I have been able to see my progress by breaking my PRs, doing movements that once were a dream for me, and doing movements in Rx form after scaling them for a while. Forth, every now and then, in a movement I get close to people that I consider myself well below them (in terms of physical ability) and that is so exciting to feel that I might be able to get to where they are at some point in the future. Fifth, having wonderful coaches that, because of the size of classes, are able to provide personalized instructions effectively. Sixth, I love the fact that CrossFit NOLA has a diverse body of members. Seventh, I know this may sound stupid, but I really enjoy that throughout the workout, coaches and members of the CrossFit NOLA provide verbal support. I personally feel much more motivated and push myself much harder when somebody shouts something supportive at me!
Favorite thing about New Orleans?
What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)?
Inside of the gym, so far, it is a tie between being able to do single toes to bar (I know my technique needs a lot of improvement but still, it feels so good to be able to do it) and doing 100 double-unders during the 2018 Open games (although I had to do double-single-double).
Outside of the gym, I am lucky that I have been able to publish a few papers during my PhD program.
After a hard workout, what is your favorite meal?
I definitely need to work on my eating habits. I usually end up having too much flour tortillas. It tastes so good when I roll a piece and then I pour some (plain) yogurt and mustard on it. I know this is a very weird combination, but you should try it!
What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?
I am an ashamed member of “watching too much TV” club. I justify it by claiming it helps me with my English!
What do you do for a living?
I am a PhD student (Department of Economics at Tulane University). I work as a teaching assistant for my department.
What is one goal that you are currently working on?
Inside of the gym: being able to do a handstand (and then to do one handstand push up) and a chest to bar.
Outside of the gym: (Without getting into too much details) being able to secure a job that I like upon graduation.
We have an awesome community and will periodically highlight a member of our community!