(508) 481-2372 ali@pennantcrossfit.com
When did you start CrossFit and why?
I started CrossFit in October of 2014 because at-home workouts weren’t challenging enough and I hadn’t lost some of the baby weight from having my son. When I decided to get divorced in 2011, I gave myself until the end of Jack’s Kindergarten year (~3.5 years) to rebuild our lives by buying a home in a great school district and getting myself in a better place mentally and physically. We moved into our home in Belmont in the spring of 2014, I had just been promoted at work, was feeling strong mentally, and wanted to get my body back to where I knew it could be and have fun in the process. I joined Forever CrossFit, loved my first class, cried after my second one (fast-paced partner wod – I had no idea what was happening!), and have been hooked ever since!
What is your favorite movement?
I can’t believe I’m saying this coming off of 19.5, but thrusters! And various stretches (spiderman, pigeon), because, ya know, mobility…
What is your least favorite movement?
It’s hard to say because I know they all serve a purpose. Overhead squats and squat snatches haven’t “clicked” for me yet, between mobility challenges and now a little shoulder discomfort.
Tell us a little about your life outside the gym! 
I have an awesome 10 year old son named Jack who keeps me thinking, laughing, and going to rock climbing gyms, practices and competitions all the time. It’s amazing to see what he and his teammates can do!
I’ve been with my love and fellow Pennant member Hiren Desai for 2 years. As I say, I don’t know what I did to deserve him and his son Vivaan, but I hope I keep doing it!
He welcomed me and Jack into his home in Southborough last August, at which point I took a break from work to help settle us in a new town, school, etc. So work-wise, I’m at a transition point. I spent my first ~18 years post-college very focused on my career – worked my way up to national leadership roles in 2 high-growth non-profits, and got my MBA along the way. I love taking great ideas that truly change people’s lives and growing them to impact thousands/millions more. And in the process, I love challenging people and organizations to push past what they see as their limits and live their best lives. So now it’s a matter of seeing where that will take me next…😊
What were you doing before CrossFit?
Played soccer from age 5-32, did various other sports in high school, had various gym memberships and did at-home workouts on and off until I found CrossFit. I’ve also been known to dabble in Orange Theory.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit and how have you achieved those goals?
I went in thinking that my goal was to lose the baby weight, but I realized in the process that while that was important (and I did it once I got my nutrition in order), I was really looking to feel better about myself, get back to challenging my mind and body in healthy ways, and be in a community of people who were inspiring, friendly, and fun. I’m so grateful for the community at Forever for welcoming me so warmly and to the Pennant crew for doing the same. I’ve made some wonderful friends in both places.
And if you must know, as the true dork I am, I created a spreadsheet of goals back in 2014 for every weightlifting and cardio movement plus sleep, mobility, class attendance and nutrition. All achieved! Haha….
How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
Beyond the friendships mentioned above, I think it’s had a positive impact on my parenting and management styles. I realized early on that forcing myself to do things I’ve never done before or might not think I can do – and feeling what that feels like, for good and bad – created a greater awareness of what that must feel like for my son, who does things outside his comfort zone at school, rock climbing, etc. every day, as well as for my employees when I was regularly nudging them to grow.
What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or thinking about giving it a shot?
Do it! Commit to going to class regularly for at least 3 weeks to really try it out. You’re not going to love every workout, and that’s okay. You’ll be surprised by how different each day is and how much fun it can be to try new things. And then how COOL it is to see how much better you are at that new thing you tried the next time it comes around in a wod! You might finish last some days, and that’s okay. Appreciate the cheering from your classmates that gets you to the finish line!
Shop around for the box that’s right for you, including trying out multiple coaches at each place if you can. Get an app that explains the movements and allows you to track your workouts and progress. And get your nutrition in order if you really want results.