CFLA Athlete Profile – Lindsey Pearl
Hometown: Oceanside, NY (Not CA!)
Occupation: I lead the social media marketing team at Hulu. Commercial-free option now available. Start your free trial.
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Fall of 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: August 2016
Favorite WOD: Scaled Jackie
Least Favorite WOD: Karen
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: For the large majority of my life, I was obese. Outgoing and relatively active, but obese. My suburban childhood was filled with bagels and frozen yogurt and cereal and microwaveable burritos, and was spent mostly on the couch watching TV. At around the age of 13, my mother was a local gym rat, and decided to bring her chubby, middle child to the gym with her to she if she could inspire her to be more active. The trainers who worked there were intrigued by me. I was a BIG kid. Solid. They put me through some training sessions to see what I could do. Lo and behold, they threw me into a powerlifting program (squatting, deadlifting, bench-pressing) and very quickly I was a wunderkind competing in local meets against women twice my age. In fact, we had to lie about my age to get me into one of the competitions. At 13 years old, my PRs were a 130lb bench, 327lb deadlift, and 319lb squat. I’ll never forget those numbers. And looking back now, it’s crazy to think I was capable of that at such a young age – especially since I wasn’t training anything other than those lifts. I barely got my heart rate up. By the fickle age of 14, I decided I was “done” with lifting, and wanted to focus on music instead. Back to my lazy ways.
Around the age of 21, I turned it around, but still didn’t do a ton of exercise beyond torturing myself on an elliptical machine at whatever gym I could afford. I eventually graduated to the Equinox system. I was marginally fit, but I don’t think I even really knew what “fitness” meant at the time.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? The credit has to go to my friends Chris and Jess – they cornered me at a party and evangelized. I went into their box for a trial, at CrossFit 718 in Brooklyn, and the rest is history. As far as the very first WOD goes, I remember ball slams and running – and an immediate sense of wanting to be the best in the class, afraid of being one of the worst, and thinking: I really want to get good at this. And, the Olympic lifting took me right back to my powerlifting days. I already knew the foundations of bench-pressing, squatting, and deadlifting, and felt personally invested in excelling at it.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I immediately started to actually build muscle. Muscle in places where I didn’t realize you could grow muscle. It wasn’t an immediate ticket to weight loss – I’ve come to learn that carrying extra weight has everything to do with my calorie intake and hormonal balance. But it helps. I also found that huffing through the NYC subway system wasn’t as horribly difficult – I could bound up a flight of 50 stairs without needing a break. And that was so, so satisfying.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? If you told me 5 years ago that I was going to join a fitness cult, I would have laughed in your face. And then punched you. And then ran away. I never predicted the genuine love I feel for the CrossFit community – our micro community here at CFLA, and the international community who lives and breathes it every day. I’ve experienced a surrender of my ego, or what I think I thought I knew, and have completely let the wisdom of constantly varied functional movement win.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: For as long as I’ve been CrossFitting, I was never able to focus enough on getting upside down to actually be able to do it. Shirley helped me make it a priority, had me work through my core stabilization (hollow holds, arch holds, etc), and talked me through the biggest barrier – my own fear. After a couple of weeks, it happened! It was photographed and went up on the CFLA Instagram, and was probably one of my proudest moments.
Leah already told the story about the warm-up we did with Shirley when she asked us to collect something beautiful on our run, so I’ll shout-out the coaches’ lip synch performance of “Uptown Funk” at the 2015 holiday party. ADORABLE.
Any advice for people just getting started? It’s supposed to be hard, so suck it up.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I’m super passionate about my career, so I don’t dive into much else these days. But I’m in a life-long love affair with music. I spent most of my school and college years drumming in bands, and I worked in the music business throughout my 20’s. So while TV occupies me, music moves me.
As does my amazing girlfriend (and CFLA buddy) Leah. And our Jack Russell/Pug mix, Juggs (who I’ve had since I was 24)!
Being new to Los Angeles also opened up a world of weekend adventure. Exploring the city and taking advantage of all the hiking and outdoorsy things it has to offer… all that good stuff.
“Franklin Hill: Up, Over, Around & Up”
2 rounds, each for time on the 15:00
10 1-arm KB Swings-R (24/16)
10 1-arm KB Swings-L
10 Alt Side lunges
3 Snatches (135/95)
-15 Air squats