We are super excited to announce the Athlete of the Year for 2020, a year we will never forget. Every month throughout the year, the coaches pick the Athlete of the Month. Then, for December, each athlete of the month gets to vote for which athlete of the month gets the honor of becoming the Athlete of the Year. This athlete must truly embody what it means to be part of the IA Community. He or she must strive to be a better person every day. They must act with integrity, demonstrate humility, and overcome adversity. With that in mind, the Athlete of the Month for 2020 is:
What does it mean to you to be selected as Athlete of the Year?
Goodness, I was not expecting this! Especially since the other athletes of the month are the women and men I look up to in our box. I am humbled and grateful that the other athletes chose me to be athlete of the year. It hits different to be chosen as athlete of the year in 2020. A year defined by so much change, so much loss, but yet so many opportunities for growth.
What is one goal you have achieved in 2020?
I am most proud of the way 2020 has taught me to overcome adversity. During the stay at home orders, I asked Coach Matt to give me mindfulness homework. This homework taught me how big a role my attitude plays in whether or not I can achieve my goals. I learned how to change my attitude from I have to do 100 burpees today to I get to do 100 burpees today. This change in attitude helps me let go of the things I can’t control and appreciate the things I can. I’ve learned that adversity is something to be welcomed not just endured.
What is the #1 thing that contributed to you accomplishing that goal?
Last month, our health secretary issued a universal mask mandate to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our community. My first thought when I learned that I would now be working out with a mask on was, “this is an opportunity to become a better athlete.” This is when I knew that I’d achieved my goal of overcoming adversity. Working out with a mask is challenging. But so is being human in the midst of a global pandemic. Working out with the mask on is a daily reminder that I can do hard things. And I got through today’s workout just fine, so maybe I can get through tomorrow’s too?
What is the main aspect of CrossFit that keeps you coming back for more?
Our community at IA keeps me coming back and giving my best effort. It’s rare to find a community that accepts you for who you are AND pushes you to be better. I don’t think I would have gotten through this year without them!
What is 1 thing you have changed in your life recently that has led to more success in the gym?
When I’m stressed out, I have trouble sleeping. When I don’t get enough sleep it’s hard for me to motivate myself to workout. A couple of months ago I created a nighttime routine that helps me go to bed earlier and sleep more soundly. I swapped out my evening doom scrolling for a cup of herbal tea and a book. I now have a bedtime. My phone is on do not disturb from 9pm to 5am. While these may sound like old lady habits, these habits help me sleep better. Better sleep at home means better workouts at the gym!
What is the best piece of advice you can give to a current CrossFitter that you think will help with longevity in CrossFit?
I think it’s so important to celebrate the small victories in CrossFit. When you add five pounds to your one rep max. When you get your first pull-up. Or double under. Or run your first mile without stopping. Don’t minimize your accomplishments. Remember everyone starts where at a different place. And if you learn how to celebrate the small victories, they make the days when you slice your shins on a box jump a little more bearable.
What is the best piece of advice you can give someone new looking to try CrossFit?
CrossFit is for everyone! Not just for the former college athletes and the fit moms who run marathons for fun. When I started CrossFit I was 100 lbs overweight, and had never picked up a barbell in my life. I couldn’t squat. Or run. Or do a pullup. But that didn’t matter. What matters is your willingness to prioritize your health- physical and mental. Our coaches and our community will support you along the way. All you have to do is show up and be willing to suck at something new.
What is the #1 way CrossFit has changed your life.
CrossFit has given me the confidence to set goals for myself and to take tiny steps everyday towards achieving them. I am so grateful and humbled to have stumbled upon a practice that improves my life both inside and outside of the gym.