What brought you to Mountain Strength CrossFit?
A confluence of random events led me to CrossFit. First, I came in ahead of Mark in the 2015 Covered Bridges Half Marathon. I thought, “This is not good. Mark needs to get back in shape.” Second, a year before that I was going to physical therapy to unfreeze my frozen shoulder, and the physical therapist kept saying that the best way to prevent it from happening again was to build up some upper body strength. A year had gone by, and I and my shoulder were feeling bad that I had done nothing. Third, a friend from graduate school posted a video of his back squat PR on Facebook and that got me curious. Finally, I kept seeing the Mountain Strength CrossFit sign when driving to and from Whole Foods a couple times a week.
So, I wrote to that friend from grad school asking whether it would be too embarrassing for me to show up at a CrossFit basecamp, and he wrote back: “Hi Donna! Definitely not embarrassing. They scale everything for people of all backgrounds, ages, etc. Don’t worry about that. It’s hard work but fun, and most CrossFit gyms are very social and welcoming. Transformed my life in more ways than one. Good luck with it!”
And then I called Rich.
What is your favorite exercise or movement?
What is a skill or movement that you are working on to improve?
I have been working on pull-ups and push-ups and will be working on them forever. I am also learning to love the wall ball.
What changes have you seen in yourself since you started at Mountain Strength CrossFit?
I have become a stronger runner, and my new arm and shoulder muscles surprise me at least once a week. Of course, everyone else might be surprised to hear that I do have arm and shoulder muscles to be surprised by.
What is your favorite memory of Mountain Strength CrossFit?
I fondly remember the day that Natale and Coach John taught me how to climb a rope by very patiently telling me exactly what to do with my feet and hands and when. (Take that lame elementary school gym teacher! Yes, I still remember when you sat me on the knot at the bottom of the rope and told me I had 60 seconds to get as high as I could. I sat on the knot for 60 seconds.)
Any advice for people who want to try CrossFit but are afraid to do so?
I would tell them exactly what Lou, my friend from grad school, told me. It was good enough advice to get Mark and me in the door.
I enjoy confusing my students, especially my student-athletes, by tossing around some weightlifting terms every so often. The best was when I overheard a football player complaining to his buddy about Turkish Get Ups, and I said, “Oh, yeah, Turkish Get Ups are just the worst, aren’t they?”