Athlete of the MonthJune

Lee Engelbreth

How old / young are you?
43

What is your occupation?
I am a Pediatric Hospitalist. I take care of newborns in thenursery and kids and adolescents admitted to the hospital.

When did you join Widespread CrossFit?
August 2017

Why did you decide to give CrossFit a try?
I saw Kari’s quads in Safeway and followed her back to Widespread. Just kidding! Although that absolutely could have happened. Inreality, I had admired CrossFit athletes from afar for several years but was intimidated by the weightlifting. I have always been a cardio athlete and had never focused on strength. The last few years in my life I have been presented with quite a few personal
challenges. These challenges gave me the opportunity to work really hard at my emotional and mental resilience and I have come through them a much stronger and confident person. Joining Widespread felt like a natural evolution for me to intentionally work on my physical strength so my body could be as badass as my mind.

What was your athletic background before starting CrossFit?
I learned from a young age that any sport involving a ball was not really a strength of mine. Individual sports that didn’t really require eye hand coordination was safest for me and others. I swim, I bike, I
run.

What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since
starting CrossFit?

I’ve seen great changes since starting CrossFit. I am more of a “slow and steady wins the race” type of athlete so working on my intensity and explosiveness has been a great challenge for me and has improved my overall fitness. Kari’s super subtle nutrition education has affected my food choices as well. I am pretty good at eating clean generally, but I have focused more on sugar intake which was way more than I thought in my diet! Her advice has helped me so much with sneaky nutrition
labels. I love seeing more definition in my muscles and my butt seems to be defying gravity a bit more which I’ll take any day.

What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit?
I would tell them to definitely give it a try! My perception prior to joining was that it was mostly
about getting big muscles. CrossFit is so much more than that. It is a community, a
lifestyle, a mentality of respecting your body and your health and taking charge of your
own wellness. I can’t speak for all CrossFit gyms, but any person regardless of age or
fitness level, could be a member at Widespread. Matt and Kari provide such amazing
individual assessment and coaching and can modify any workout to meet the needs of
each athlete.

What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises / movement?
My most favorite movement right now is the deadlift, which I never thought I would ever say! I
was afraid of the deadlift for a long time and actually avoided WODs that had it. With Matt and Kari’s constant instruction, fine tuning of my technique, and encouragement I feel really confident in my form now and I have seen some great PRs over the last few months. My least favorite? I had one WOD so far with a sandbag. It crushed me. I wanted to throw up. I was giving Matt mean looks behind his back. The worst. But who knows, it’ll probably be my favorite exercise one day in the future! Probably not though.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far? 
I really loved the in house competition. There is such a great sense of community at Widespread and even though it was a “competition” everyone is so supportive and fun and encouraging. I had so
much fun and felt a great sense of accomplishment.

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit?
My family is awesome. Pretty much anything I am doing with them makes me happy. Whether we are traveling to Harry Potter World or I am breaking up a 4 way boy fight with blood and tears, I am a content person when I am with them.

What is your favorite “cheat” food or meal?
I should not be left unattended with a bag of tortilla chips.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 
I love to scuba dive.

Who or what inspires you the most? 
The kids I take care of in the hospital. Kids are so resilient and happy and fun. No matter how crummy a kid feels they still always want to play. Adults don’t play enough in life. It always makes things better.

What is one goal you would like to accomplish through CrossFit? 
One day I will be able to do a strict pull up.

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