When we first started Boot Camp, Natalie was my lone Boot Camper. Which lasted for a few weeks. She came in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for her not on purpose private lessons, but didn't let that scare her away. She worked hard, lost about 15 pounds, eventually gained some friends in Boot Camp, and just a couple of months ago made the transition over to CrossFit! Natalie is extremely strong, extremely dedicated, and we are extremely happy to announce her as our July Athlete of the Month!
We asked Natalie a few things about herself and here is what she had to say:
1) What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? (And/or what else do you do for fitness besides CrossFit presently?)
"I started in the Bootcamp at CrossFit CH in January of this year. When I started I was the only person there so I was easily held accountable by Morgan which was great since it was my first regular workouts in a while. It’s very noticeable if you don’t show up when you are the only person in the class!!! I switched from Bootcamp to CrossFit in May. Prior to CrossFit I was running 3 days a week. I had 2 kids within 2 years and I was in bad shape before, and worse shape after. After I had my second child in January 2017, I started doing couch to 5k at about 6 weeks postpartum. I ran a few short races and did a half marathon (very slowly). I am a horrible runner but I liked running because I could do it at anytime of the day which is great when you have 2 little kids and work full time. I previously did CrossFit in 2012-2013 and loved it but never could get back into it with work/children."
2) What do you spend most of your time doing outside of the gym?
"Outside of the gym I work full time but try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I work as a nurse practitioner at UNC Hospital. I have 2 fabulous kiddos (Adaline is 3 years old and Jack is 17 months old) and a very supportive husband named David. We strive to eat dinner together every night and spend our weekends doing things as a family! I also LOVE to travel."
3) Tell us something about yourself we may not know.
"Prior to becoming a nurse I was a volunteer Firefighter/EMT in Virginia. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare at a young age so I started an EMT program at age 16 and became an EMT in age 17. I became a firefighter when I was in college."
4) What got you started in CrossFit?
"I did CrossFit in 2012-2013 after my best friend begged me to try it. I loved it and was working out 6-7 days a week. I was living in VA at the time and once we moved to NC I didn’t really follow through. I started this year after really deciding that I needed to find a fitness plan that would get me in better shape but also be manageable. I saw a poster for CFCH in the hospital and looked at the website. I was excited to see the Boot Camp and signed up after emailing Morgan to get more info."
5) What's your biggest accomplishment at CFCH so far?
"My biggest accomplishment at CFCH is just not dying and actually showing up. I have been surprised at how much strength I have even though my endurance isn’t that great. I was excited to do the workout last week with all the deadlifts and was able to deadlift 175lbs consistently (and that wasn’t even my 1rm!) It’s also an added plus that I have lost somewhere around 15 pounds and have dropped 1 or 2 pant sizes! I can’t wear my original workout pants that I bought when I started CFCH because they fall off (no exaggeration). I regret not doing body measurements before I started. I still have a long way to go but CFCH has made a huge impact on my life in the past 6 months!"
6) What's your biggest non-fitness accomplishment?
"My biggest non-fitness accomplishment is the fact that I feel better. Even though I am getting up early to work out and some nights I still don’t get that much sleep, I still feel much better than I did a few months ago. I can tell a huge difference in my overall energy level and attitude!"
7) What fitness goal are you currently chasing?
"Since I really have only been doing CrossFit for less than 2 months I don’t have one specific goal. I am looking forward to seeing what my 1 rep max is for all of the lifts so I can track my progress. I still have my notes from what I could lift when I did CrossFit years ago."
8) What life goal are you currently chasing?
"No current life goals other than to be a good example to my kids. Being a mom is hard and it’s easy to give all of your time to your kids and work, and forget to take care of yourself. Self-care is very important. I am working hard to find a good balance and I am lucky that I have the support of my husband."
9) What is your favorite CrossFit movement of workout?
"I like cleans/jerks and kettlebell swings (but not this week since I ripped 2 calluses open last week). Clean/jerks make me feel strong even if I can’t lift that much weight. I also enjoy kettlebell swings because they are fun. I get excited when we get to row since I am good at that since I’m tall!
10) What movement/workout makes you cringe to see on the board?
"I feel obligated to say snatches because I spend the entire time hoping I don’t fling the bar above my head and hit the person behind me. I also am not a fan of wall walks. For me the hardest part of the snatch is the balance, not actually getting the heavy weight above my head."
11) What's your favorite thing about CFCH?
"I’m sure everyone says this…but the people. Everyone is SO nice. Morgan has been fabulous since the first day I started. It was easy to keep coming back when I knew she would be there to help me when I needed to modify something or if I couldn’t remember a specific movement. All of the coaches are supportive and the other athletes are all kind. Even when I went to the community WOD on a Saturday, everyone was awesome and I hadn’t met any of them before."
12) What long term plans do you have in the realm of health and fitness?
"I hope to stay consistent and continue to come to CFCH. If I keep making it a priority, I know I will continue to get stronger!"
13) What or who is an inspiration to you?
"My husband is a huge inspiration to me. He is willing to do extra things for our family so that I can workout in the morning. Last night we only got about 6 hours of sleep (maybe less…it’s hard to keep track!!) but he still was supportive of me running out of bed at 5:30 to get my workout in, even though that meant he had to get both kids out of bed, dressed, ready for school, fed, bags packed, coated in sunscreen, and dropped off at daycare all before he got to work. The workout this morning was hard but I am sure he had just as hard of a morning with all he had to get done without help!"
14) Which band/station/playlist is your favorite to really get you pumped up at the gym?
"Since I spend most of my time listening to Disney music and watching my language, I prefer to listen to listen to anything currently popular while working out. That sounds bad….but really…..if it is loud, has a good beat, and there are cuss words or topics that aren’t appropriate for toddlers….It is probably motivating to me because I likely haven’t heard it. "