What brought you to Tribe in the first place?

CrossFit had been on my radar for a while, but never actively looked for it. I had been trying similar things before like bootcamp, military fitness but nothing really stuck. An Instagram ad had come across to me last August before I went on holiday, checked it out, realised that it was very close, offered a free taster, so I though what the hell, I was gonna try that when I got back. And the rest is history!

I’ve always been active and athletic since a very early age, as a baseline done swimming & fin swimming, for 10 years competing and also tried waterpolo, basketball, volleyball, athletics, running, triathlon, pretty much everything and anything we could do in school. Never really stopped exercising – besides the dark ages of uni – but after finishing up competing I gained quite a lot weight over the years. Sometimes dropped a bit, sometimes gained back but that didn’t stop me from doing sports. In the past 5 years I’ve been doing running on and off, completing a couple half-marathons. When I joined I was probably in my worst shape in terms of fitness and weight. I was a little skeptical but also open to give it a go.

 

What was your first impression?

I didn’t really have any expectations. I thought I was going to give it a try and would go from there. I was a bit scared as I knew I was quite weak and overweight. My first session was with Coach Leo. He was super friendly, so were all the others around. There wasn’t a single moment since I stepped into the box when I felt any less than anyone else regardless abilities, skills, strengths, experience.  On the other hand I’ve been feeling incredible openness, support, spirit, motivation. I instantly knew that was something that was going to last. Session by session raised my appetite to achieve more and more. I remember on the first session I could barely hang on the bar for 10secs… I’d never ever touched a barbell before. But the feeling I had during the whole session, especially at the WOD at the end gave me back something I hadn’t had since I stopped training and competing after high school. You fight every minute, everyone is fighting around you, you try to beat yourself, sometimes others, are happy about every achievement you do or other around you, push your limits, die a little, sweat like hell… and the eternal feeling of accomplishment at the end… and that high5 from the coaches and your mates.

 

After the first impression it has just been becoming better and better. Now I am part of the community, I’ve got to know so many brilliant people, been part of the in house comps… even the first one in Nov only 2 months in CF.  I got the spirit of the games medal that meant a lot and encouraged me more that I am in the very right place. Then I decided to give a go to nutrition too. I was very skeptical about that and to be fair even after the first session with Coach Louise I wasn’t convinced but I thought ok I’d paid for it so I’d try… and OMG that was actually working! She’s been ever so supportive. In 3 months my body has completely transformed and it has really stuck. I am not tracking any more but I got the absolute right habits and I am still loosing fat and gaining muscles.

 

From beginning of 2019 I’ve been also doing weightlifting and gymnastics. I’ve become pretty much an addict one of the hardest thing is to discipline myself and have rest & recovery days. Lately I’ve had some PT  sessions with Nadia to fine tune some movements and raise awareness where to focus on and how. She’s incredible – well all of the coaches are – I love our sessions, she’s so reactive to my needs, just pushes me exactly how I need. Also thanks to all of these my running has improved a lot, and I PBd my half marathon with 14 mins, got under 2 hours and now preparing for a marathon. Oh and I’ve done my first open, loved the atmosphere. And will take part in my first out of the box – haha – comp in June with some others from the Tribe. So looking forward to it. I think I could rave forever, let me know if you need any specifics.

 

What was your first achievement/bright spot?

I absolutely didn’t know what to expect from the in house comp in Nov – 2 months after I started – but I was keen to try and everyone encouraged me to participate. It was a great day, showed the spirit of this crew, enjoyed the workout, super scaled them but kept moving and kept getting to know more and more folks. Loved the atmosphere of the medal announcement ceremony, really really nostalgic feeling from the times I was competing. And the whole spirit of the games thing just came out of nowhere, didn’t even know about that thing. But it was truly heart-warming that these people acknowledge the fact that I am here and I am trying and the are so inclusive and supportive. Thanks to that everyone got to learn my name and chatting became a lot easier at the social after

 

Favourite memory/proudest moment/s?

In terms of achievement a great highlight was the Lone Wolves qualifiers. I started to do PT with Nadia at that time so we strategically prepared for all 3 of them and set goals, landed on strategy, tried them, trained extra in open gym. And I overachieved all of them. It felt so great, also the fact how I performed, how folks motivated, cheered and pushed me and vice versa, and how proud Nadia was. I didn’t qualify in the first place, but I’ve got in at the end so looking forward to see what I’ve progressed.

Defo bright spot was my first RX WOD. Also I was very scared of box jumps so I was stepping. Then I had a very crappy day at work and I just needed to accomplish something that day, and do something good, so when I saw that the WOD had box jumps in it, I decided to push it and try… that’s the story of my first 75 box jumps. Now the focus is on strict pull-ups, double-unders and cleans. Definitely pop a champagne on the day when I’ll have my first strict pull-up… I think I never even had one even when I was an athlete…

I genuinely love gymnastic classes it feels like being on a playground and doing/re-learning things that I haven’t done for 10-15 years like head/handstand, somersault, ring exercises… we used to have them in the garden when I was little.

Another I really like happened on the in house pairs comp. We had to do max DUs in 2 mins. I wasn’t gonna try, I was to go for singles. I’ve barely had 1 DU before, definitely more in a row. But the girls convinced me to at least try it. And I’ve done 47 in 2 mins. Not unbroken and not nice ones but I did it. It’s a cliché but really the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.

Some Sunday Funday highlights from the time when it was a group workout. In the beginning obviously I was the weakest link and I felt bad about anyone who had to pair up with me. But again never ever felt for a single moment that the others would roll an eye, on the other hand they pushed me and encouraged me. E.g: there was one where the buy-in was 100 synchro burpees, I’ve done them with Marta. I couldn’t have possibly done 100 by myself. But she ‘held my hand’ dictated a rhythm and didn’t let me to give up. Then another one with Sally, that was the first time I’ve met her, it was an awful lot of wall balls. She’s cheering me like I was a champion. But the even better feeling came when I became the more experienced one pushing my pair through the WOD. It felt so great seeing how she was fighting, those little smiles and sparkles in her eyes whilst suffering & sweating like hell. I was cheering and motivating her through the whole WOD, counting, saying funny/nonsense things/singing/anything to turn her attention from the pain to the glorious moment when you’re done.

PJ

PJ