CFLA Athlete Profile – Shirley Brown

Hometown:  Netarts, Oregon
Age: 35
Occupation: Coach
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Spring 2008
When did you first start training at CFLA?: Spring 2008
Favorite WOD:  Nancy
Least Favorite WOD: Badger ( 3 rounds for time: 30 Squat cleans (65/95), 30 Pull-ups, 800 meter Run)

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: In grade school the mile run took me 14 minutes, which really shaped my thoughts about physical activity, or at least about activity that was metabolic.  I played soccer in third grade with my best friend and we were the only two girls on the whole league. I remember kicking the ball into the wrong goal, which I’ll never forget. In 7th grade I had an inspirational PE teacher that taught me how to lift weights, and that is when this really all started. I also played a little volleyball and kept stats for the basketball team in addition to participating on the track team throwing the shot put. During high school I kept up with the weightlifting and continued to do track.  I added hurdles to my list of activities in addition to triple jump and shot put. In college I participated in track my sophomore through senior year. This is when I learned that having that structure and support was helpful for anything I did to move forward in a positive way. I ran a few 5k’s, but always struggled with running. I continued to weight train with my best friend at a gym off campus and she sparked my interest in a body building show. I was super stoked to lift heavy weights, but little did I know that I had to do lots of cardio and change my whole diet. Goodbye to flavored yogurt and college drinking. After college I moved to LA, worked at Golds gym and stuck with weightlifting, started running a bit and took up yoga. I would call myself active, but never an athlete until I found CrossFit.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I was working as a personal trainer at Equinox in Santa Monica and fellow trainer of mine kept talking about CrossFit and the movie 300. I had even tried doing some CrossFit workouts at Equinox at the time, though we didn’t emphasize the time element. A friend of mine tried it out at Petranek Fitness (CFLA) and invited me to try out a class. The first class I attended we did an AMRAP 30min of pulls ups. Andy suggested I do Cindy instead, so that’s what I did. I remember it being very challenging. Other initial CrossFit memories involved the warm ups. I was always confused why people weren’t rushing through the warm up, then I realized it was the “warm up” and not the work out.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’ve gotten a lot stronger, more aware of my body, gotten leaner and tested its limits and have done things that I never thought I could do. The change in diet has dramatically reduced my asthma and as a result I ran my first (and only) marathon in 2013.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I have met a family of amazing people that have supported me through many ups and downs and pushed me out of my comfort zone quite often. It’s helped me build my self-confidence and willingness to try new things. If I hadn’t found CFLA I don’t imagine myself still living in Los Angeles.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments:  Truly every moment is fun and special. I’m so thankful to be here doing this with all of you. But to be more specific: My first trip to the CrossFit Games in 2009 in Aromas. Flipping a tire and carrying a log for my first time at 2010 sectionals. 2011 getting one of my first muscles ups (willed by all of CFLA) that helped us make it to the CrossFit Games. Training harder than I have ever trained doing crazy multiple workouts, mostly all with a smile and competing in the CrossFit Games in 2011 with my amazing, supportive and tough teammates. Watching our strong women society compete at Femme Royale in the fall of 2013.  Every day watching people make breakthroughs that they thought weren’t possible.  And last but not least, seeing people learning to understand their bodies and then listen to them.

Any advice for people just getting started?  Show up, talk to people, accept coaching and push yourself.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? First off I love a good cup of coffee paired with a beautiful pasty. I love cooking, baking and eating. Getting outside and enjoying nature, my dog Ginger, friends, family and music. I also do yoga and swim most every week.


Friday’s Workout

A) Air Squat Rodeo
Focus on hip/heel loading

B) EMOM 12 at ≤70 RPE
1st min: 10-20 Butterfly Abmat situps
2nd min: 6-12 Strict pullups
3rd min: 3-5 Push presses (70-80% of 1RM Press) + 3-5 Push jerks
–30sec Cap each round–

C) For quality load, working up across sets
Overhead squats

Saturday’s Workout

For Time, with 4 Burpees EMOM:
30 GTO (75/45) Lightweight so snatch for quicker cycle time and higher volume
30 Front Squats (75/45)
60 Situps
30 Front Squats
30 GTOAnd Coming Monday

Sunday’s Workout

4 Rounds For Time
400m Run
16 Knees to Elbow
75 Double Unders
15 Hand-Release Push Ups

And Coming Monday

2 9yd Plate pushes (45/25)
8 Burpees to target (9’/8′)
12 KBS (32/24)
Compare to 5/4/15

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