Athlete Profile – Danette R.
3 Rounds, for max Double Under reps
8 Touch & Go Deadlifts (275/155)
2 min Max Reps Double-unders
ATHLETE PROFILE: Danette R.
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
Occupation: Computer Equipment Broker
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: came out of the womb playing. My non-athletic mother wasn’t sure what to do with me. I tackled my uncles during living-room football at five. I crashed all-boy kickball games on the playground until the nuns benched me. Was told to dominate girls AYSO soccer, so I did. Swam on a swim team. Dove on a diving team. Did masters ocean swims. Tried my hand at hurdles. Did salsa dance exhibitions. Truth be told, I was pretty good at it all, but nothing spectacular. Except in basketball. In basketball maybe I wasn’t Maya Moore either, but I ate, drank, slept ball. I ditched my senior year nearly 2x’s a week to make the runs at Memorial Park, usually the only girl in the gym. I was the MVP of your Santa Monica High School Vikings (Lady Vikes if you want to get embarrassing about it); started every year varsity for a mediocre team. When the seasons were unceremoniously over, I was invited to practice with the boy’s team. I worked two jobs in high school, and balled. I think I did some schoolwork. After high school it was time to get a J.O.B. — college was not in my family’s vocab and only one school approached me with a partial scholarship – so I worked and I ran pick up games from LA to Queens until I got pregnant with Mina 12 years ago. I’ve been floundering around trying to find something fun to play ever since. And now I have.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? A Yahoo front page story retold the miraculous ways couples got in shape in 2010. And I thought it was very sweet that Mr. and Mrs. So-N-So lost 30lbs together with Weight Watchers, but then I saw a couple out of Chicago who didn’t get in shape, but got ripped with a thing called Crossfit. I called and made an appointment the next day. My first WOD was Cardio Gone Bad, which was a good starter for me because cardio was probably the thing best going for me at the time. The next WOD, however, contained back squats and pull ups and I nearly crapped myself out of my nonamazing feats of weakness. I disrobed myself of everything I ever thought I knew about fitness and stood humbly on square one, ready to take it from there
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? The other day, my husband, startled, said that there was a lump on the back of my arm. I said, “I think it’s a tricep. Could be wrong.” I feel like I’ve reversed the slide towards dumpsville. I feel great, strong, leaner. I have hopes that even greater progress and unknown lumps are coming.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I didn’t expect to have this much fun again doing something physical. I didn’t expect that I could improve my strength so much in a real and tangible way. When you get older, your mind plays tricks on you — as the body slips away — convincing you that Things Are Over. I’m so glad to discover that things are indeed not over.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: My favorite moments are every moment after I read the WOD and get a stomach ache. Another favorite: The moment I realized that the community is genuine and that I felt safe enough to do my best without airs, and maybe fail or slip off a box; that it was ok to feel vulnerable enough to become the best physical version of myself.
Any advice for people just getting started? I’d tell them that nobody who ever gave their best regretted it no matter the level. You start where you start and you do your best. It’s only up from there.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Riding my bike around town, baking, whole-foods cooking, raw-food dabbling, literary fiction readin’ & writin’, watching college hoops, sweaty salsa dancing, raising world-changers.