What brought you to Mountain Strength CrossFit?
I wanted to get better at Spartan racing and I knew that CrossFit would help. I honestly wasn't entirely sure what I should be looking for in a gym, but I did some snooping around Yelp and reviews told me that MSCF was the place to be. When I first started, I wasn't honestly certain how long I would keep it up; I thought I might take base camp and then figure out how to replicate the workouts from home. That said, once I got a taste for what it was all about I was hooked!
What is your favorite exercise or movement?
Rope Climbs, Back Squats, and Deadlifts. I'm kind of a tank so I excel in raw power movements. Since I started out as a runner before I did Crossfit (....a slow, steady runner), my lower body is definitely stronger than my upper body. This means that I'm essentially a Deadlift/Squat machine.
What is a skill or movement that you are working on to improve?
I am working really hard on my pull-ups and Toes to Bar. Once I get those to a place that I'm comfortable with, I have my sights set on Double Unders next.
What changes have you seen in yourself since you started at Mountain
Physical: I've definitely packed on some muscle. My clothes fit differently (have you ever tried to buy women's business casual clothing for someone with giant shoulders, a proportionately small waist, and thanks to MSCF the beginnings of some serious guns? It's definitely more difficult than a benchmark workout, let me tell you). I'm more "solid" with less fluff. I can do things I didn't used to be able to do; getting heavy loads up the stairs is far less taxing, I'm no longer sore after a weekend of intense activity, etc.
Mental: I've developed some insane mental grit over the course of training for the various things I've done since starting at MSCF. I trained for and completed my first Spartan Trifecta and my first Marathon this year; so I've learned though the process about how a strong mind can drive the body to overcoming intense physical obstacles. My workouts in the box are as much mental training sessions as they are physical, and this has certainly helped in other areas of life as well.
Psychological: Owning my own toughness has been a process that I'm excited to continue. As a woman in American society, it can be very easy to buy into the idea that one is "supposed" to be petite, fragile even; but learning about the incredible things my body can do has been intensely good for combatting ideas about what one "should" or "must" look like or be. Knowing you can sled-push a manatee (I can! I've checked!) will make you feel like nothing can stand in your way.
What is your favorite memory of Mountain Strength CrossFit?
Friday night lights is an amazing experience; the community is incredibly supportive and the energy is just electric!
Any advice for people who want to try CrossFit but are afraid to do so?
Don't wait; just do. The coaches here are incredible, the community is insanely welcoming, and even if you think you can't trust me; you can.
Random Dani fact?
I'm a professional theatrical fight director; I teach actors how to kill each other without hurting each other. My most recent project involves an onstage tooth extraction in full view of the audience. And write about my fitness journey at http://beastinprogress.com