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Sunday, July 1, 2012
Posted by: gina
CFLB ATHLETE PROFILE: Emily Coalson
- Age: 30
- Occupation: teacher turned full-time student
- When did you first start CrossFitting? 10/31/2011
- When did you first start training at CFLB? 10/31/2011
- Favorite WOD: any team workout
- Least Favorite WOD: In the middle, I hate all of them.
Tell us about you sports & fitness background:
I have dabbled in sportsy things since middle school, though I never considered myself an athlete. I've played softball, threw Varsity discus and shot put in high school, and did a lot of dancing - mostly in musical theatre. I've been an intermittent runner since I finished college (because it was free and fit into whatever crazy schedule I had going). I got hardcore into Bikram Yoga in 2006, which lasted until I moved away from the studio. Then I picked up tango dancing in 2010. Since then, I sort of bounce around to various fitness regimes as they interest me: I pick up Bikram when I have large amounts of time, I run half marathons (usually with no training) when they look fun, I do Mark Sisson's Lift Heavy Things workout at home on occasion, and I tango dance when there's a milonga close by. And, of course, since 2011, I do my best to maintain my Crossfit attendance.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD... what was it, and how did it feel?
I started eating paleo and paying attention to that community in April 2011. As he watched me drop 19 lbs in one month, my boyfriend, Tyler, got on board the paleo wagon as well, and he was the one who decided we should try Crossfit. We went to the free "try it out" class at CFLB, then signed up for the onramp classes that month! I love that Crossfit is something we do together; it offers conversation topics and an admittedly strange date night activity.
The thing that really draws me to Crossfit, however, is its insistence that you challenge yourself. Every workout is hard, and you are the only one who can decide how much to push yourself. Everyone else in the room is also working hard, and is worried more about themselves than about you, so no one will know if you phone it in one day - no one but you. And that's a really good reason to push yourself, because it's only for you, and because you walk out of that Box after every workout knowing exactly how successful you were, or weren't.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF? (before / after):
Other than cosmetic changes (tighter arms and abs), my balance is better, and my day to day strength is much improved - I'm able to lift heavy things with more confidence. At thirty, that's merely nice, but I know that if I maintain my Crossfit practice, I will be much more ready to face fifty and sixty with health and confidence.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
My boyfriend has started telling ME to workout - instead of the other way around!
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLB moments:
The workout was a medium-tough one, but I had just skipped about 3 weeks of classes, and had done my first workout the night before. In addition, I had been under a fair amount of stress, and the combination of all those things made the workout extra tough for me - emotionally tough.
About two rounds into the five round WOD, my inner voices told me I wasn't going to make it, that it would be okay to stop early, that I had a lot of good reasons to not push myself too hard. And as I watched Kara, who started at Crossfit Long Beach the same month I did, lap me in round 3, I knew I'd be one of the last to finish, so if I stopped at three or four rounds, everyone could go home, and it would be fine!
But something pushed me. I figured if I could just bear crawl the next 50', then I could rest before doing another 50'. At the beginning of round 5, I started sobbing. This was really, really hard, and I really, really wanted to stop, but I had already gone this far, and fuck anyone who didn't want to wait for me to finish.
As I started on my final bear crawl, a classmate jumped back onto the mats and crawled with me. Then another person joined in, and another, until in my final five broad jumps across the finish line, most of the class was jumping with me, and those that weren't were cheering us on. I was still sobbing, and it sucked really bad, but I know that every person in that class has felt the same desire to stop, and fought against it - and their encouragement is what got me through the entire workout that day.
Any advice for people just getting started?
Try, try, try. And remember that no one in the room is as concerned with how fast/far/heavy you do things as you are, so make each WOD about meeting yourself where you are, challenging yourself, and finding your own success.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
For nine years, I have been a middle- and high-school Theatre Arts teacher and director. I also have close connections with Long Beach-based Theatre company Rogue Artists Ensemble, with which I practice my theatrical design crafts. I maintain a Paleo food blog, primalinapinch.com, and pursue lots of hobbies on and off like needlecrafts and tango dancing.
On August 1, I will fly to Cambridge, MA to study School Leadership at Harvard, with the goal of opening my own school in Southern California in the next 5-7 years. I am super sad to be leaving the CFLB community, but I know it will be going strong when I get back! And don't worry, there's are two CF boxes within a mile of my apartment in Boston!
Workout of The Day
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Friendly Reminder: We're closed this Wednesday for Independence Day so our coaches and staff can enjoy time with families on Independence Day.