I’m a front-end web developer and graphic designer living in Baltimore with my husband Cory and our two cats, Roxy and Muffin. I have a passion for food and cooking, which, happily, tends to go hand-in-hand with fitness. Right now I’m learning to clean up my diet by following more Primal/Paleo food guidelines.

Besides food and fitness/Crossfit, I love beautiful design and typography, Internet culture, letterpress printing and vintage ephemera.

Just to keep in the back of your mind as you read my posts: I’m a 27-year-old female weighing 125 lbs and standing tall at 5’6″.

My story

Fitness was something I never thought I’d be into. I’ve been a skinny female my entire life and just assumed I was healthy, so I never exercised or watched my diet.

After college I became friends with Peter and Hattie and noticed that going to the gym and practicing yoga was a huge part of their lives. I went to yoga with them for about a year, once a week, and thought that was “good enough.”

During the summer of 2010, my husband Cory and I decided to set a goal for ourselves: to run the 5k race at the Baltimore Running Festival in October. I had never trained to do anything even remotely close to a 5k, but we were up for the challenge. We followed the Couch to 5k plan from start to finish. It was extremely difficult but I knew it was good for us. I finished the race with a time of 30:01 and felt great.

After doing a ton of research, I decided that I wanted to start supplementing my casual running with some strength training. I joined the local Y and followed the Starting Strength Practical Programming Novice program. I purchased Mark Rippetoe’s book Starting Strength, read it in full, and learned to adjust my form and slowly got better at the big lifts: squat, bench, deadlift and press.

Feeling like I was getting nowhere without some kind of social support (I’m that kind of person), I decided to end my membership at the Y after only a few months. Luckily I stumbled across Tim Guarino and the Dumbarton Barbell Club. After one session with Tim I knew that Dumbarton was the right place for me. Everyone there was so helpful and I always looked forward to my Starting Strength workouts with like-minded people.

During this time, I also ran two more 5k races: the Charles Village 5k (28:47) and the Boordy Vineyard 5k (28:03). Update (Oct. 2011): I ran the 5k race at the Baltimore Running Festival and got 27:22, my best time yet. Update (Oct. 2012): Ran a 5k time trial and got 26:42!

Crossfit had always been in the back of my mind during all of this. My friends Ramsey and Daniel had been training through Crossfit for years and got amazing results and huge lift numbers that I was super jealous of. I was also starting to get sick of running, especially since my left knee was beginning to bother me (still hasn’t really gone away to this day).

After getting bored of Starting Strength since I wasn’t really seeing any changes (admittedly, I didn’t really push myself that hard and probably should have drastically improved my diet), I decided to bite the bullet, end my membership at Dumbarton, and sign up for Foundations classes at South Baltimore Crossfit. It was expensive, but I knew that I would be paying for great quality service, especially since I’d be getting a ton of one-on-one training from certified coaches…not to mention the amazing community aspect of Crossfit that I’d always heard about. I was ready to do and feel things I’d never experienced before.

After a month of Foundations classes where I pushed myself harder than I ever have before (I’ll never forget the night John, one of the Crossfit coaches, yelled me through some intense bear crawls), I knew that this was what I was looking for all along: helpful, intelligent coaches, members that are just excited about working out as you are, and non-stop motivation to do your very best. A little friendly competition doesn’t hurt, either.

So far I am loving every second of it.

My goals

Aesthetically, I would love to lose my tiny pouch of belly fat and get a six-pack, but I’m learning to look at Crossfit as more than just a way to look good because I know that will come with time. Update (Sept. 2012): The belly fat is receding and my six-pack is slowly starting to show.

Eventually I want to see big progress in all of my lifts, especially in my deadlift since that’s my favorite one. Right now my 1RM (rep max) seems to be about 143 lbs, and I’d be happy to hit 200 lbs at some point. I also can’t wait to do my first dead hang pull-up. Seriously, I can’t even do one! Additionally, I will feel super awesome once I can do the WODs (workout of the day) “as prescribed” (no scaling back the weights). Updates (Sept. 2012): My 1RM deadlift is now at 183 lbs. I can also do at least three dead hang pull-ups in a row now. I occasionally do workouts as prescribed, but I’m shooting to do them as prescribed 100% of the time.

If you’d like to see more detail regarding my best times, lifts, etc., check out my personal spreadsheet here (click the tabs at the bottom).

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