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Dino Mangano

5
Feb

Dino Mangano

Ddino 1ino Mangano

Hometown: Durham
Age: 26
Occupation: Teacher

When did you first start CrossFitting?:
August 2012

What is your favorite movement? Favorite workout?
I love squats! And any long, grinding endurance workouts.

What is your least favorite movement? Least favorite workout?
Anything that involves being upside down. I fear for my neck!

Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
I was not an athletic child. I never played sports growing up, and by the time I was in my late teens, I was pretty overweight. With encouragement from my parents, I started going to the gym, and then during my sophomore year of college I discovered running. It was a huge turning point in my life. As I lost weight, I gained a self-confidence I had never known before. I decided to run a half-marathon in 2009 but didn’t follow any training plan – I just ran a lot. I was nervous about my performance and wasn’t 10329035_10102528757232058_8927398463032412014_nsure if I could even finish the race, so I told almost no one that I had entered. I easily finished that run in under 2 hours and my athletic career began. Since then, I have logged thousands of miles in my running shoes, including two full marathons. I ran the second full in November and have no intention of stopping!

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Do you remember your first WOD? How did it go?
A good friend who had done CrossFit in Charlotte moved to Durham and convinced me to try CrossFit for “just one class.” I figured there was no harm in trying it, and Dave was kind enough to let us work out with the big dogs. Between the intensity of the workout, the camaraderie in the gym, and the nearly paralyzing muscle fatigue, I was hooked! I joined the gym officially at the end of that class and have never looked back. I was constantly sore for weeks, but I loved the challenge, community, and personal competition that CrossFit offered.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
First of all, CrossFit has made me a much better runner! I’ve seen vast improvements in my stamina and speed, thanks to all the lifting and high-intensity work we do. I am much stronger than I used to be, too. Last week, my husband casually said, “Your back used to be so squishy! Now it’s so muscular.” Possibly the best compliment I have ever received.

1384090_10101609553339028_1684416749_nWhat impact has CrossFit had on your life?
Many women recoil at the thought of being overly muscled. I have always loved my big, strong legs, and CrossFit has only increased that confidence. Plus, pushing myself beyond my comfort zone over and over again (“HOW many snatches are we supposed to do?” “You want me to do WHAT with that kettlebell?”) has helped me similarly push myself in other non-athletic areas of life.

What is your favorite CrossFit/CFD moment?
The first time I did a pullup. This was in the fall. I had been working towards that goal for two years and was unbelievably proud of myself. My husband made me a trophy.

What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit?
Just try it! There are some things that are going to be tough but you will surprise yourself with what you CAN do.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love cooking (and eating!), crossword puzzling, blood donating, coaching the middle school cross country team at my school, and playing nerdy board games of all kinds.

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