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How long have you been doing CrossFit? What are your favorite things about the sport?

I started CrossFit in August of 2012, so It’s been over 4 ½ years now! What I first fell in love with are the results. But I also love the challenge, there is so much to work on, and I think it’s so much fun to work on increasing your lifts, or getting that first muscle up. And, like most people I didn’t know the first thing about weightlifting before I started CrossFit, and that has been one of the best parts of doing CrossFit. I think a lot of women are intimidated by weight training at first, and I was no exception. I just love the intensity and the group training environment….ok, I guess I love everything!

How many times have you competed in the CrossFit Regionals in the past?

This will be my third Regionals. I competed as part of the CrossFit Resilience team in the North East Region in 2015. Last year I qualified as an individual in the MidAtlantic

What are your goals for the CrossFit Regionals this year?

So this year feels very different. When I went on a team 2 years ago, we literally got the very last spot. We finished in 12th and we were just thrilled to be there. Same sort of thing last year, I didn’t expect to qualify as an individual. So I just went in with the mentality to put my best foot forward, and I was happy with that. This year is different, we are coming in as the 1st place team, so the obvious goal is we want to make it to the CrossFit Games. I have never gone to Regionals with that kind of expectation, but I’m a big believer in setting big goals. We want to make the top five.

What are you most looking forward to for the CrossFit Regionals? What are you most nervous about?

I’m most nervous about the pressure, about the expectations, like I said previously, I have never gone into Regionals in that way. But that’s also what makes me excited. CrossFit Balance isn’t necessarily a team that is on everyone’s radar, so I’m excited to come in and show what we can do. I have a lot of confidence in our team and excited just to show what we can do!

How has your training been going so far? How many hours a day do you usually spend training?

Training has been going well. Post open we have shifting up training schedules a bit to maximize the amount of time we have the whole team together, so we can practice things like the worm all together. I typically train 5 days a week, anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the day.

What does a typical day of training look like for you? A typical week?

Like I said, Regionals training has shifted up my training schedule a bit. But right now I train Tuesday and Wednesday, rest Thursday, and train Friday, Saturday, Sunday (to mimic a Regionals weekend). Week where I am working I will squeeze everything into one big morning session, and on days when I’m not working, or on weekends I’ll typically do a morning and an afternoon session.

How often do you train with the rest of the CrossFit Balance team, versus training on your own?

Fortunately, almost all of my training is with at least one of my team members. Some of the guys have to train at different times on week days, but we try to get the whole gang together for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday training. It’s not always possible, but we all made a commitment to this team, and prioritizing training together is part of that.

How is it different training for the team competition than as an individual?

It’s a completely different mentality. You still have to be on top of your own strength and conditioning, as well as working your weaknesses. But we incorporate a lot more team workouts and lot of synchronized movements (which are a completely different beast). We have to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, work on communication, and moving like a well oiled machine. Missing reps or losing time on the “choreography” of a workout becomes much more important in team workouts. Honestly, a lot of time when we make a workout into a team workout it becomes so much harder, you may have less overall “work”, but the amount of time you are working for is at such a crazy high intensity. In a lot of team workouts pacing goes out the window, and for the amount of time you are working, it’s a complete sprint.

Are you doing anything different to prepare for the Regionals this year than in previous years?

I think the biggest change is just trying to be a good and supportive teammate. Not that I haven’t done that in previous years, but I have more experience under my belt than my last time going team, so really just trying to put my all into every workout and bring positive vibes to every training session. My attitude and my mentality have the ability to affect others, and I try to be mindful of that….I’m not perfect, but even on bad training days, I can have a positive outlook, even if my body doesn’t want to cooperate.

Was there anything that surprised you during the CrossFit Open this year? Are there specific times of workouts you’re expecting in Regionals this year?

I mean dumbells were the real game changer, that was new. I was surprised we didn’t have ring muscle ups this year. I was surprised by how much the last workout hurt me as an individual, but that just gives me something to work and improve on.

For Regionals, heavy weight for sure, I would be surprised if we saw clean and jerks this year for the first time in a while. It’s hard to guess, I’m guessing we will see some familiar things, true form running, maybe some heavy dumbells…I would love some d-balls. But the big news, is we are definitely going to see the worm this year!

Are you following a nutrition plan while you’re getting ready for regionals? How do you change your nutrition in preparation for the competition?

I’m not following any strict plan. Last year I was counting macros around this time and lost a lot of weight. I’m definitely heavier this year, but I feel stronger, and better at every movement, so I’m not willing to cut, especially if it negatively affects my training. I have a general idea of what macros I need to hit, and I do weigh and measure some meals, but I’m also listening to my body. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. I’ve really just been focusing on more variety, I was getting pretty bored with my regular meals, so working on lean protein, good carbs and quality fats in appropriate ratios, plus lots of veggies. But an indulgence now and again is ok too.

What does a day look like, food-wise? What’s your go-to healthy meal, either to make at home or eat on the go?

Like I said, I’ve been changing it up a bit, just to get more variety. I do a lot of turkey or chicken, white rice, and lots of vegetables. A quick easy meal is to cook up some ground turkey, add salsa and some cumin/chili powder. Serve over spinach and cabbage, with some white rice, olive and a little bit of guacamole. It’s super simple, and super yummy, and you can adjust the macros to whatever you need!

How do you balance training for Regionals with everything else in your life? What do you like to do when you’re not training?

Well, training does take up most of my time, haha. But I’m also engaged, so I spend a lot of time planning our October wedding, and spending time with my fiance. He is actually a powerlifter here at Balance, so obviously we like to lift together as well.

But other than that, low key things. Going to movies, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. I should add that my best friends in DC are the ladies on the team, which is pretty great for me that I get to spend so much time with my friends!

What’s something you wish more people knew about CrossFit/CrossFit competitions/etc.?

Great question! I wish people knew that you didn’t have to be as crazy as me to do this. The vast majority of people that do CrossFit do their hour a day, love their gym and see amazing results. I love being competitive with CrossFit, but I also know that people like me may scare off people that could really benefit from CrossFit. CrossFit is for everyone at any fitness level. You just have to be willing to walk in that door, work hard, and check your ego. Just come in and we will help you. I hear so many people say that they would need to get in shape to do CrossFit, which is so frustrating, because CrossFit is how you get in shape! Everyone in this gym is working at their own level. And I just want people to know how inclusive and welcoming CrossFit is. There was a time, over 4 years ago, when I first walked into a CrossFit box, I had no idea what to expect, and I definitely didn’t know if would change my life, but I took the plunge, and I haven’t looked back since!