As a coach, it's rare to have the opportunity to coach a world-class athlete, but that's exactly what Amanda is in her sport of Jiu Jitsu. I speak for all the coaches at CrossFit 818 when I say we consider it a very high complement that an athlete of Amanda's caliber trusts us with her strength and conditioning training. We wish her the best of luck in her big upcoming tournament (the Abu Dhabi WPJJ Trials in March in San Diego).
When did you first start CrossFitting?:
When did you first start training at CF 818?:
Tell us about your sports and fitness background:
I started running for fun in high school – did some 5Ks, 10Ks and a handful of half marathons. Weight wise I assumed I was destined to be dieting for the rest of my life just to remain pleasantly plump – my mom had convinced me that my Swedish-Japanese genes meant I was going to be stocky and stout no matter what I did.
I never did any organized sports until my mid-20’s. I considered myself to be naturally unathletic and clumsy so I didn’t try to play any sports until I started Brazilian jiu jitsu in 2008. BJJ helped me lose a lot of weight and discover that I could do sports which got me motivated to start lifting weights and start going to the gym not just for weight loss but to get stronger. I had a gym membership and went regularly 3-4 times a week for several years; however gains were few and far between. I fell into the trap of thinking that I wasn’t meant to get any stronger or faster because I’m female; but CrossFit has definitely debunked that myth!
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD...what was it, and how did it feel?
CF818 opened up down the street from where I train BJJ and I walked by it all the time; but it looked a bit intense so it took me a couple months to finally convince my husband to try it out with me. He went in and did the baseline before me and told me that he almost puked! This got me worried; but I was looking for a challenge so if someone could make me exercise so hard I puked I was sold! I didn’t puke, but I was sold nonetheless!
I believe my first WOD was a thruster ladder. It is very mental and the mental aspect of Crossfit still is one of my biggest challenges. I don’t remember what number I hit, but do I remember that I had picked the number before the clock even started and I thought “I’ll stop there, because that’s a decent number of these”. I had become so accustomed to doing my usual routine – 4 sets of 8 or 3 sets of 12 of the same exercises that it took me awhile to break away from this mindset. Once I did, I really started to see results!
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?:
I feel much more well-rounded in terms of my fitness; and, my strength and cardio has gone through the roof! When I train BJJ, I’ve had people tell me that I feel like I’m twice the size I really am (which is a compliment!)
What sort of change in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
The coaches’ positive attitudes are very contagious and I feel that I have become more optimistic and motivated to DO things and not just sit around and think about what could be.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CF 818 moments:
At the CF818 combine last month I ran a mile more than a minute faster than I’ve ever run it in my whole life – and I didn’t die! I was chasing the pack of guys in front of me and I had Tasha right behind me and I really didn’t want her to pass me up (haha, sorry Tasha!). It was a great experience; I don’t think I could’ve done it without my fellow Crossfitters!
Any advice for people just getting started?
Whether you have a 2 day/week or unlimited membership, schedule your workouts into your week on a calendar along with everything else – work, school, dates, dentist appointments, whatever! (Google calendar is my favorite and it syncs up with your phone which is handy). And for those times you set aside for Crossfit – make a promise to yourself to go no matter what the workout is. It’s often easier to avoid the workouts you’re not good at, but not being good at something is precisely the reason to do more of it!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Cooking & baking (Paleo and not-so Paleo dishes!), BJJ every spare minute I get – it’s more of an obsession…and I like to teach people stuff – math (it can be fun!), how to read, how to play the piano, how to break arms, etc. etc.
Posted by Zareh.