(508) 481-2372 ali@pennantcrossfit.com
1. When did you start CrossFit? and why?

I started CrossFit in April 2013, a couple of months before graduating from college, in North Carolina.  I had been working at a globo gym near my school for about a year, and had begun to get more active, workout more, eat better, and practically stopped drinking (I know, right before graduating college, weird).  A friend of mine was posting pictures of CrossFit, and seemed way more fun than the globo gym I was at (I went to school in the south, there were a lot of meatheads/steroid ragers there), so I found the closest one and stopped by!  I was instantly hooked, and signed up for my last two months before moving back to Massachusetts. When I moved back, it was one of the first things I did, was find another CrossFit gym so that I could keep working out and getting fitter and better at CrossFit. It also really helped me to meet people back home and be more social after college, since I moved back in with my parents post-graduation.

2. What is you favorite movement?

My favorite movement used to be snatches, but since I have been dealing with a sensitive back for over a year now, I think my new favorite movement is dumbbell snatches and burpees (I know…burpees, but I really don’t hate them!)

3. What is your least favorite movement?

I think my least favorite movement is the bike, I seriously feel like my whole body is at failure after even just 10 seconds on the thing.  I also think that manmakers are really soul crushing, because it takes more focus to count them (its like 5 movements in one), and I swear there is only one pace you can get them done at.  And a lot of bootcamp workouts have huge sets of manmakers in them, which make a workout seem go on forever!

4. Tell us a little about your life outside the gym (family, job, hobbies, interests, etc)

My life is that of a typical 20-something post college, I work, a lot.  I am a social worker, in child protection, so I get yelled at and have difficult conversations on a daily basis, trying to keep kids safe.  So, honestly, going to the gym in the morning is what keeps be sane each day. 

My fiancé, Christian (a former member of the month, and constant bad-ass in the gym), and I live in Worcester, with our fur-babies!  Our two kitties (Rufus and Basil) and new puppy (Penny) keep us busy and on our toes 🙂  
In our free time we try to get outside as much as possible, Christian has turned me into a college football fan in the fall, and I drive him nuts watching all the Hallmark movies, blasting Christmas music way earlier than socially acceptable, and eating as many amazing donuts and cupcakes at small bakeries near Worcester that we can 😀 

5. What were you doing before CrossFit?

I was not doing much…besides doing some of my own workouts in a globo gym that I worked at, I was kind of making things up as I went along. I changed my diet up in my senior year of college, the combo of working out some and eating healthy was tremendous to start changing my healthy and fitness regimen.  Between June 2012 and graduation in May 2013 I lost 27 pounds, and finally felt good again.  I stopped napping between classes, and eating entire boxes of Goldfish (though I totally miss that…)

6. What were your goals when joining CrossFit and how have you achieved those goals?

My goals were not really defined when I joined CrossFit, I really just wanted to have fun and keep getting in shape and get stronger.  I loved the class structure, plus I still don’t think I know what I’m doing so I feel better having a coach work with me on a regular basis.  Today, I feel more connected and in tune with my body than I was at the start of my CrossFit experience.  I know the movements that hurt my back, and I know what helps me stay fit and in shape.  And I primarily take BootCamp classes in the mornings, and LOVE them.  One of my biggest goals was to get better at running, and not hate it as much.  And summer 2018 I finally reached that!  I PR’d my average mile time by almost 2 whole minutes, and I actually look forward to running workouts now, which I thought would never happen! 

7. How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

I know it sounds cliche, and I used to “drink the CrossFit Koolaid” a hell of a lot more than I do now, but it really had changed the way I operate on a regular basis.  I never liked to workout, I would rather sleep in and eat sugary donuts, cupcakes, and ice cream every night (seriously, my sweet tooth is unreal, it’s my biggest nemesis…).  Instead, I now make an effort to get to the gym almost every morning, before going to work, and I get up around 630 or 7am on SATURDAYS…yeah, Saturdays, so that I can go to the gym to jumpstart the weekend!  

I am healthier than ever, and continue to make friends who I can rely on outside of the gym.  And of course, the biggest thing that CrossFit brought to my life, was in 2015 when I met my now, amazing fiancé, Christian.  We have gone through the ups and downs of life together thus far, and changed gyms a couple years ago when we both joined Pennant, and we could not be happier to be here!  We still say it all the time!

8. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or thinking about giving it a shot?

My biggest piece of advice is just to give it a try.  I brought my mom to about 3 or 4 bring a friend days at my previous gym about 4 years ago, and now she has been doing CrossFit 3-4 days a week and continues to get stronger and get excited about her progress and victories.  There are so many different ways to make CrossFit work for you, no matter what the reason is for stopping you from walking through the door for the first time.  Finding the right gym, with coaches that make you feel at home is all you need, and the community will help you get to where you want to be. Give yourself a chance to see what you can do!