Featured Member - Alison
1. What interested you about trying CrossFit and joining CM2?
“I have always had an interest in fitness and was a regular in commercial gyms, but I struggled to build strength in my upper body. A few years ago, I trained as a fitness instructor and PT, not necessarily to work in the sector but to push myself into something I wasn’t comfortable doing. Even then I didn’t feel I was achieving my goal. Christmas 2019 hit, and I was frustrated I wasn’t getting anywhere and felt a bit lost…. enter CM2. My taster session was with Katie and I was super nervous, but Katie instantly put me at ease, I felt the “feel the fear but do it anyway” mantra”.
2. How has CrossFit Impacted your lifestyle?
“Where do I start? I remember meeting Trevor in one of my first sessions and he joked that he always talked to people about CrossFit, I can’t remember the exact phrase, but it made me laugh. I am nine months in now and I totally get what Trevor said! I go for dinner with friends and talk about the WOD, I go for drinks and talk about the weight I can lift, I see family and show them my handstand (AGAIN). I often get a roll of the eyes, but I don’t care.
CrossFit has made such a positive impact on my lifestyle, I look forward to the WOD, not only to feel the achievement and that addictive adrenaline at the end of a workout but also for catching up with everyone. I’ve met some great people and my fitness has improved immensely. I am also starting to see some muscle in my upper body which pushes me even more. One day I would like to push myself into a competition”.
3. How is your handstand progressing, and how are you finding the journey?
“I have certainly had a love/hate relationship with handstands, when starting I couldn’t kick up and was not sure I even wanted to. I remember early on in my CrossFit journey there was a WOD that included handstands, I was so frustrated and embarrassed that I was the only one who couldn’t kick up. I remember watching Melodie and she made it look so easy, I later found out that it was something that Melodie had struggled with at the start of her journey and that spurred me on. I went home and started practising, so thanks to Melodie for telling me that I could do it”.
“Rob started the handstand classes during lockdown and I slowly started to become a little more confident. Don’t get me wrong I have had my fair share of head to concrete moments in my back garden, each time I get up and think that’s a bit embarrassing and look to see if anyone has seen me only to remember that I live on my own! The number of times my poor neighbours would just hear a massive bang against my shed and see the view of my feet.
I still try to make Rob’s handstand classes on Monday’s (when work doesn’t get in the way) and can certainly feel some progress. I can now kick up lightly and sometimes even get a bit of a free-standing handstand hold. My question is always: will it help me build strength and Rob answers yes so, I continue to push more. I have even tried freestanding with a crash mat behind me (less freestanding more of a back flip) but it shows I am growing in confidence with less head to concrete moments”.
4. What is the biggest physical/ mental change you have noticed in yourself since starting CrossFit?
“Feel the Fear but do it anyway…If I ultimately can’t do it then there is a modification, nevertheless the coaches really do encourage you to give it a go which I love and need. Sometimes it’s too easy to say I can’t.
I can see the physical changes in my body and that spurs me to continue pushing, it’s addictive and I want to see what I can do next. I certainly feel that I have more energy and my confidence has improved as a result. I now want to look at my nutrition and try and get in my best shape before I hit the dreaded 40”.
5. What’s the biggest/next goal in your training?
“I want to get my first unassisted pull up! I know I need to improve my pulling strength which will also have a great crossover to help my lifting. It would be good to spend some additional time focusing on building my upper body strength, specific to helping me achieve that pull up goal of mine”.
6. How have you found the community aspect of being a CM2 member?
“At the start I found it rather intimidating as everyone knew each other, I wasn’t sure I could fit in. I felt like a bit of an impostor, not because anyone made me feel like that, but because I was the new girl. I couldn’t lift what they lifted, and I was always the slowest, I was comparing myself to everyone who’d been going for years”!
“I quickly got to know people and hear their stories and it all started to feel less intimidating. Everyone is so supportive and it’s ok if you can't do something, because they were there once too. I think it’s a great community and a some of us have done a few social bits and I am looking forward to many more! Whenever someone new starts I remember that fear and make sure I go and say hello”.
7. What piece of advice would you give to a new member who has no training experience?
“When you first walk in remember everyone started in the same place you did, be open about your fears and I bet you 100% other people were the same when they first started. You are not expected to walk in and do a handstand push up or even a full push up, there are modifications for everyone. I started my journey by only being able to do a knee supported push up and now I can do a pike push up and of course let’s not forget those handstands”!
“I think 9 times out of 10 it is the mind that gets in the way of your physical ability, so come and give it a go and you really will surprise yourself like I did”.
“Thank you to the Coaches and all the members for making me feel so welcome”.
Coach Rob- " Alison has trained very consistently since joining. Right through the lockdown she was always on the zoom workouts and handstand classes that we offered. Then as soon as we opened the outside space she was a regular face in the classes again. Alison has a great attitude and does a great job of digesting coaching feedback and then implementing the adjustments. She has gained loads of confidence trying new things since day one. She really leans into fear and discomfort now, which is often key to continued progress. Well done Alison!"
Coach Katie- "Since joining CM2 Alison has come a long way in her training and is always keen to get involved with anything going on. Alison is great at asking questions in order to understand and develop both her strength and skills in the gym. I think Alison has a brilliant mindset when it comes to training, she is always great at listening and then applying any advice given, whether it be a technical cue or just some extra drills that will enable her to progress. She is a great member of the gym, always happy, smiling and engaging with other members. Well done Alison, keep up the good work!"