Watching Julianna develop as an athlete over the past year has been an absolute pleasure not only because she’s made some significant increases in physical attributes, but also because she’s become an integral part of our community. She rarely, if ever, misses a 6 am class (the last time I can remember not seeing her Mon/Wed/Fri was because she was traveling), attends all of our community events, and goes above and beyond to welcome new members and make everyone feel at home.
She’s got a great sense of humor, a fantastic attitude and a tremendous work ethic, which when put together make for the perfect combo for success. We love having Julianna as part of Cróga and are looking forward to continued success for her in 2016 and beyond.
Here is a little Q&A with Julianna about her experiences here at Cróga CrossFit:
(Coach Dave): When did you join Cróga?
(Julianna): I joined Cróga almost one year ago, and I’ve been coming three days a week ever since without fail. I remember hearing about Friday Night Lights and the Open during my start-up classes. Never could I have imagined that a year from then, I’d be doing those kinds of WODs (albeit scaled!) and judging them, too!
(D): What were you doing before for fitness?
(J): This will shock anyone who has seen me attempt a handstand push up, but I have never been considered athletic. Or coordinated. Or particularly graceful. I was usually the last one picked [perfect attendance (see above) was more my thing, not P.E.], so I’ve never played team sports. I’ve dabbled in fitness over the years—weight machines, cardio kickboxing, the elliptical, etc. I always thought I did not have the ability to sweat, because I never did. I was clearly not working hard enough, because it was clear from the first start-up class that I have a great ability to sweat.
(D): What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
(J): I can honestly say that I’m the fittest now than I’ve ever been in my life. About a year and a half ago, when I hit 45, it got a lot harder to lose weight and my triglyceride numbers were climbing. I knew I had to make exercise a priority. Once I did, I saw and felt the results almost immediately. My triglyceride numbers have dropped, I have more energy, I’m stronger, clothes fit better, and things that were a bit mushy are now not so much. And now when I’m sore it’s from deadlifts or front squats instead of from yard work or shooting a few pucks in the driveway with my kids.
(D): What’s your favorite WOD?
(J): Since I’m often surprising slow (I saw myself in a video Dave posted on Instagram and I thought it was in slow motion), I do best in WODs that aren’t timed. A nice 1 rep max will bump up my fitness level on beyondthewhiteboard. But I also like WODs with a little bit of everything.
(D): What’s your least favorite WOD?
(J): I’m not a big fan of running. And now that we’ve been running with stuff lately (e.g., medicine balls, weights), I like it even less!
(D): What do you love about CrossFit?
(J): I love what most people love about it—the intensity, the varied workouts, the results, and the community. I have never been particularly self-motivated when it comes to exercise, so I needed a place where I would be told what to do, I’d be accountable, and I wouldn’t get bored.
(D): What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
(J): I would like to say coffee with butter, but I can’t say that it beats cold brew coffee. I did try the Whole 30, but I only made it to Day 16. I discovered that while I could certainly cut back on the carbs and sugar, I can never totally give up bread and cookies. And I’d get kicked out of my book club if I gave up wine.
(D): What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2016?
(J): My goal is to Rx more WODs. It kills me every time I have to click “Modified.” Since taking the CrossFit judges course, I’ve been regularly no repping myself, so I know that it’s sometimes best for me to do the WOD at a scaled weight until I can do it well. I’ll keep working to collect as many skills as I can, but I’m going to leave handstand pushups for 2017 at the earliest.
(D): What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?
(J): Don’t overthink it. I can rarely be accused of not overthinking something, but I jumped right into CrossFit without knowing much about it. I signed up for a class, bought the shoes (one skill I already possessed), and showed up. I think if I’d known a lot about it, I might have thought that I’d never be able to do it or that I wouldn’t fit in. What I learned was that CrossFit is for everybody.
(D): Pull ups or thrusters?
(J): Considering I’m still working away toward my first strict pull up, I’ll take the thrusters.
(D): Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
(J): I’d just like to add a huge thank you to everyone at Cróga. I can’t imagine another place that would have converted me from a relative couch potato to an aspiring athlete. Thanks for choosing me this month and for the jump rope (now that I can finally do a few double unders, I don’t feel completely undeserving—especially after weeks and weeks of twirling those wiffle balls). Thanks to the regular 6 am crew for immediately accepting me into the mix. Even though you guys are in a totally different league, you have never made me feel like I didn’t belong and have always been encouraging. Thanks to PJ for always telling me I can do more and for pronouncing my name correctly from Day 1. But the biggest thank you goes to Dave for being such an amazing coach. Since joining Cróga, I’ve had the chance to visit other CrossFit boxes, and while the CrossFit community at large has been uniquely, unfailingly inclusive and fun, no coach compares to Dave. It’s clear how much he cares about each individual, pushing us all to do our best. He’s inspiring, and he makes every class a positive experience. He and Kelly have created a truly special place. Thank you.