Athlete Profile – Nicola A.
ATHLETE PROFILE: Nicola A.
Hometown: West Caldwell, NJ
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Septermber, 2010
When did you first start training at CFLA?: September, 2010
Favorite WOD: Anything without burpees
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with burpees
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I don’t really have a strong fitness background. My dad played and coached soccer, but I never inherited that ability to play (though I did get the stubbornness that prevented me from getting caught.
I was always interested in fitness, but never got the opportunity to do anything because my music world took up so much time outside of school. Had I not done music I would have done track, or trained privately for fencing.
I started working out regularly when I got to college: started in the weight room, joined the fencing team, started playing volleyball. My weight training wasn’t very consistent and it was kind of boring, so why go? I knew I had to find something better.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I’ve known about CrossFit for several years, actually, but never had the means or time to do it. During the period of time when I was working out consistently my adventures through the interweb would sometimes bring me to sites where really ripped men and women would do these insane exercises. I didn’t think it was for me at the time, and I was doing some circuit training as part of my regular workouts.
My first WOD was 5 rounds of a 400 m run and 21 thrusters (with 65#). Jennifer told me to do 3, since it was my first day. I went ahead and did 3 and a half. It was brutal. I hadn’t been running for a long time, so the warm up run kind of threw me for a loop. The warm up was particularly difficult that day (3x 7 double wall balls, 9 pull ups, 11 ghd sit ups, and a hip flexor stretch–what the heck) and since I sucked at all of those things getting to the workout was particularly daunting. It hurt. A lot.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’ve slimmed down and lost a lot of the body fat that I was carrying around. That’s what I notice, other than better muscle tone in some areas. I don’t always realize the changes that happen to my body unless someone points them out to me, and they have. It’s nice to know that you’re changing and people are noticing it…otherwise there probably hasn’t been change.
My endurance is a lot better than it was. The warm up run hasn’t bothered me for a long time, things like beach or indoor volleyball don’t tire me out as easily since I can stay explosive for a longer time, I actually like running now.
Before, I was pretty average. Now I’m not. And it feels great. Also, it’s nice to fit into my shirts better.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? Doing CrossFit has definitely helped me with financial responsibility. End of story.
I know that if I can dig deep for a workout I can dig deep for other things.
Doing 150 pages of reading isn’t as daunting as Double Fran, so I just do it.
I’m much more confident in pretty much everything I do now. And it’s much easier for me to connect with total strangers who eventually become friends because you go through these awesome workouts together.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: Doing my first challenge, trying to learn things on my own and getting help from people who saw me trying, Kenny Kane’s more humorous moments, that time I flew off the pull up bar but pushed through the end of the workout, anytime I meet someone new over there. Videos of Odie. Doing my first handstand–huzzah!
Any advice for people just getting started? My friends always wimp out when I invite them after telling them about my workouts. Just do it, don’t be afraid. Well, you should be afraid, but not so afraid that you don’t come in.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Volleyball (indoor and beach), cycling, violin (years of it), movies, food. And other things.