CFLA Athlete Profile – Leah Rubin-Cadrain
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
Occupation: Strategist (entertainment marketing)
When did you first start CrossFitting?: 2013
When did you first start training at CFLA?: September 2016
Favorite WOD: Weirdly, Murph? No technical movements and so much crowd support!
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with thrusters makes me weep.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background: Well, that’s a short story. My background could not be less athletic. I remember having to ask my 4th grade gym teacher how to bounce a ball. I was a bookworm growing up, and my main physical outlet was hiking with my family, which I still love. Hiking instilled a deep appreciation for nature and being outside, and led me to casual running in my teens. For me, distance running was relaxing and restorative and was never about speed. At any rate, the only form of exercise I ever appreciated was the kind that requires no skills or equipment and gets you out into fresh air.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? My girlfriend Lindsey had been CrossFitting for years, and when we met it was obvious how much the sport meant to her.With a promise from her that she’d protect me from any meatheads or physical danger, I went for an intro WOD at her gym, Crossfit 718 in Brooklyn. I don’t remember anything but the wall balls. I had literally never lifted and thrown a heavy thing before. The next day I couldn’t move – a deep, astonishing kind of muscle soreness that really blew me away. I thought I was in shape!
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Body first: I went from a waif to a solid human being. I used to be thin and limp – my best friend described my posture as “melting ferret.” Within a week of starting CrossFit my arms were harder, and by now it’s a total body makeover™. I have muscles where there once were none. I’ve come to love this feeling of solidity and power, and I get a girl-power high off of being able to carry, move, and accomplish things for myself. And! My old lower back pain is gone, since I’ve built the strength to support good posture.
But the main change is in body awareness. Now I understand the everyday ways my body and mind are connected – that if I box-breathe before a big meeting I can control my nerves, if I carry an intention I perform better, if I set my shoulders back I’ll feel confident. (Thanks, Shirley!)
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I’ve got to go with friendship. Starting back in Brooklyn, CrossFit led me to new friends I never expected to meet, at a time in my life when I thought I was done starting new relationships. And now as a newbie here in Los Angeles, trying to rebuild my social life and find “my people,” it’s the CFLA community that has come through the strongest. Knowing that folks here care how I’m doing, see who I am, and want to connect, is the difference between feeling like a stranger in town and starting to feel at home. These people are just the best people.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments:
- The time Shirley sent us out for a run and asked us each to bring back something beautiful. Come on!
- A few days ago we had a really small 7am class, just the core crew. We were setting up racks for ring dips, and Fernando suggested we place them in a circle, facing in so we could all check on each other. Devastating cuteness. I love how much everyone likes each other.
- The time I was dying of handstand walk-ups and Shirley told me I couldn’t just scale them halfway through the WOD, because it was a competition day and I should dig deep. Tough love, and I needed it!
Any advice for people just getting started? Know that even if every movement seems impossible, eventually you’ll discover that you’re really good at a few things. Your body has a secret superpower somewhere!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Hiking! That’s been a major boon of this move from New York to California. Also reading, drawing, watercolor painting, and – this is huge – spending time with my family. I have two sisters who are the best things since sliced bread. I also really love my work, which channels my creativity and tickles my brain and brings me inside of great (and sometimes even meaningful) stories in TV and film. And finally, I like doing just about anything with my boo Lindsey. Leah out!
1: 10 Wallballs (20/14)
2: 10 Knees to elbows
3: 3 Deadlifts (70-75%)
–30sec Cap each min–
1-3 Set(s) @ 90% of C&J
1 Front squat
1 Split jerk
Jerk Skill Practice
BTN Jerk balances (light)
Front squats (60-65% FS or +3-5)
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-R (~20% 1RM Snatch)
6 Toes to bar
8 Alt DB Power snatches
6 Toes to Bar
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-L
–1min Rest between rounds–