Athlete of the MonthOctober

Sarah Monzyk

How old / young are you?
I’m 41.  

What is your occupation? 
I test software.

When did you join Widespread CrossFit?  
I was at a different CF gym where Matt and Kari coached and I loved them.   Things just weren’t the same after they left and I kept waiting and waiting for Matt to open this gym.  I was a member long before WSCF opened its doors, but it’s been worth the wait. 

Why did you decide to give CrossFit a try?  
I had been hearing about it and I saw a Groupon (to a different gym) and decided to give it a whirl.  I actually thought I was in pretty good shape until I tried my first CrossFit class (Matt was coaching) and realized there was a whole other level of fitness that I was missing.

What was your athletic background before starting CrossFit? 
I’m certainly no athlete, but I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler in all things fitness.  I think I’ve done almost every cardio class offered by a gym – step, body pump, Zumba, kickboxing, I even did that slide thing whose name I can’t seem to remember.  I spent a number of years doing yoga and still think it’s an amazing thing to do and a great
complement to CrossFit.  My true love though is being outside, I love camping, hiking, biking and I’m trying to embrace skiing.  Doing those things has been harder since having kids although they are finally getting old enough to go a little further and do a little more. I like that CrossFit allows me to stay in shape and still do those things when I have the opportunity. 

What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit?  
Well, I had my body fat tested at the end of July and then again last Friday and while I’ve only lost 2 pounds, I’m down almost 2% body fat after 2 months of working out at WSCF (and I’ve been doing CrossFit for a few years now – albeit not as consistently, but still) and I haven’t changed my diet at all.  I still have room for improvement and they say abs are made in the kitchen and while I eat fairly well, I’ve never done anything like Paleo for 7 weeks so I’m excited to see what changes occur during this nutritionchallenge.  As far as performance, I certainly have more upper body strength than I’ve ever had in my life.  I never thought I would lift a barbell over my head that was 100 pounds.  I never thought I would climb a rope to the top, I never even did that in grade school.  I’m still working on that *#DKSLD$#@! pull-up though.    

What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit?
1. Consistency. Keep showing up.  I understand, you are sore, you are tired, it’s hard, but it gets better if you keep going.   Your body will start to adapt and you will be less sore, less tired, some WODs will still suck, but most will be okay.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others.  I know this is tough because CF is meant to be competitive and we have the Whiteboard to look at every day, but I like to view it as a tool to see my own improvements and to celebrate others successes, not to beat myself up if I didn’t perform as well as someone else or gasp, if I was last.  We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses, but ultimately if you keep walking through the door, you will get stronger and faster than you were before.

What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises / movement?
Favorite: well ‘favorite’ is relative, but I don’t mind the power clean (not as fond of the jerk), squatting, toes-to-bar, box jumps or any ab exercise.
Least Favorite: Running, anything with a wide grip overhead – OHS and snatches, and rope climbs still give me anxiety

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?
At WSCF, I think my most memorable ‘moments’ happened over 2 days – after working out all week, the WOD on Thursday was a mile run (see above for least favorite CF moves) followed by 100 toes to bar.  I ripped up both of my hands, but completed the toes to bar.  I had a goal of coming to WSCF for all 5 days that week so I showed up for FRAN on Friday morning.  I had to really work on my positive self-talk and I did it – I can’t say it was fast, but I showed up and did it.

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit?
As I mentioned, Lyle (my husband) and I have 2 kiddos that keep us pretty busy outside of work and CrossFit.  We try to get outside with them as much as possible and they are involved in a number of activities, but I also love to read and we recently started painting
which has been really fun. 

What is your favorite “cheat” food or meal?
Pizza & bread are my 2 favorite cheat foods (although before the challenge, I just ate them, didn’t think of them as cheating) 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Lyle and I took a year off and spent a good number of weeks backpacking in South America and then he talked me into biking 3000 miles through SE Asia.  It was the best experience of my life.  He keeps telling me that instead of re-living our glory days through stories that we need to do it again. 

Who or what inspires you the most?  
Okay so this probably sounds cheesy and isn’t really related to CrossFit necessarily, but Lyle inspires me the most in my life.  He isn’t afraid to do anything and he dreams big – quit our jobs and go to a 3rd world country for a year, why wouldn’t we, backpack for 11 days in S.America over 14,000 passes with no guides or pack animals, of course, bike through SE Asia, better than getting killed riding a bus in S. America, quit a high paying sales job and teach kids with disciplinary issues, better than losing my soul, go on a canoe trip with a 4 and 7 year old with no guide, no problem.  He also believes in me and my abilities – backpacking with girlfriends and no big burley men to protect us, you can do it, climb a 14er, you can do it, ski with no lessons, you can do it (that one didn’t go quite as well).  I could go on and on, but he makes me want to be more and do more with my life.

What is one goal you would like to accomplish through CrossFit?
A freaking strict pull-up.