Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Occupation: K-12 Curriculum Specialist
When did you first start CrossFitting?:
What is your favorite movement? Favorite workout?
I live for wall balls and kettle bell swings! My favorite workout is “Murph.” I know someone may give me the side eye but I actually enjoy the Hero WODs.
What is your least favorite movement? Least favorite workout?
If asked this question when I first started CrossFit my response would be burpees, but recently my least favorite movement has become bear crawls. My least favorite workout is “Death by ten meters”.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
Can I count shopping as being a apart of my sports and fitness background? For years, I took ballet, jazz,and tap. In high school I was a member of the flag corps in the marching band but we danced more than we twirled the flag. I’ve always been a large girl, so I’ve been doing some sort of exercise majority of life whether It was group exercise classes at the YMCA or walking the track with my mom. I’ve tried every weight loss gimmick and trick in the book. It wasn’t until graduating from college (and moving away from my soul food eating family) that I adopted a true active lifestyle. I started out by taking step aerobics and kickboxing classes in the traditional gym setting.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Do you remember your first WOD? How did it go?
I became bored with the everyday routine of the treadmill, elliptical and soft fit group exercise classes. Also, I was not getting the weight loss results that I was working toward. So, I searched for bootcamps in Durham on the internet and CrossFit Durham was the first website I found. I was so excited (and nervous) that I left work during lunch to sign up but the gym wasn’t scheduled to open until later in the afternoon. And of course I came back immediately after leaving work. I remember my first WOD included air squats, running, push ups, and push presses. It was the most painful, fast-paced, fun workout of my life. After the workout I sat on the floor thinking, “What have I just signed up for? And why in the world do people actually pay for this torture?” I was in so much pain the next day that one of my students in summer school held my rolling chair as I sat down because my legs were so weak. But more importantly I remember Dave saying to me, “Just come back.”
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
Everything has changed! Of course one of the major changes has been losing 65 pounds. But what I value as being the most beneficial change is my strength. One summer I visited my aunt in Oakland, CA. As I was picking up my luggage from the baggage claim turnstile this man behind me says, “Wow, young lady you just man handled that suitcase!” Its moments like that in which I realize how strong I’ve become (and sometimes forget my own strength). Before CrossFit, I couldn’t run with out stopping. I could only do push-ups on my knees and my squats were laughable. Now, I actually enjoy running and in the last year I ran six 5k races with out stopping. And my squats aren’t too shabby and I swing with a 44 lb kettle bell. I always tell people that CFD is a constant reminder of how strong I am mentally, physically, and emotionally. People always assume that overweight people are content with their size and incapable of leading a healthy life, but that is not the case. Before CrossFit I was working on and determined to become a better person physically. However, I found my niche and it clicked for me the moment I walked into the gym.
What impact has CrossFit had on your life?
Honestly, I owe everything to CFD. Because I have struggled for so long with my weight, I often find myself smiling at the accomplishments I’ve made. Because of CFD my passion for fitness has led me to other areas such as cycling, pilates, TRX, rock climbing, and even becoming a serious runner. Never in a million years would I think that I would over come such physical challenges. CrossFit has taught me to re consider the foods that I eat and how to manage my relationship with food. I will never forget the look on my parents face when I came home to visit for the holidays after starting CrossFit. Even today my mom will often ask, “Summer, can you believe how far you have come?”
What is your favorite CrossFit/CFD moment?
One time during a WOD I became frustrated that I could not keep up and everyone was waiting on me to finish. So I dropped the medicine ball and left the group. Bea came and found me and reminded of how far I had come and the best part was that she called me a badass. No one had ever called me a badass in a good way. And of course she made me go back and finish the WOD. Another favorite CFD moment was finishing my first hero WOD.
What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit?
Show up. Even when you feel like you are not at your best just show up. Also, do not measure your progress with others, everyone has their own goal and the only person you are competing against is yourself. Lastly, regardless of where you are in your fitness journey you can do CrossFit.
What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Outside of CrossFit you can find me convincing people to join CrossFit, being a Durham foodie, and traveling. I enjoy reading, hiking, and just having a great time with friends and family.