Hi Amy tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I am 36 years old and grew up in Rockland County, New York. Rockland is a suburb located about 30 minutes from New York City. My parents, older sister and her family still live there and it is great to go back and get my big city fix every couple of years. I also have a younger brother who lives in Florida and I enjoy visiting him too, especially when Missoula is gray, cold, and rainy. I originally, came to Missoula in 1998 to finish my undergrad and I totally fell in love with Montana. I didn’t know anyone here at the time, but this was truly the place I had dreamt about since I was a kid: mountains, rivers, star-filled night skies, rainbows etc. The fact that I could go hiking and float the river without having to get in the car was mind-blowing and it something I will never take for granted. When I am not staring off into the sunset, geeking out about cooking, minimalist living, or CrossFit, I am busy at work at the University of Montana in the Disability Services for Students office. I am going into my eleventh year there and it is really a fantastic place to work.
What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?
In high school I spent a couple years on a canoe racing team, and I did roller derby when it first started here in Missoula. Beyond that, my exercise really just consisted of taking my dog, Moses, to all the regular Missoula spots: Blue Mountain, Waterworks, the North Hills, Pattee Canyon, and to the Bitterroot Valley on the weekends.
What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?
I was with some friends in Portland that were there for a Spartan race, and I asked them about their training. They said they did CrossFit-style workouts and that I should look into it if I was serious about improving my fitness. Later that evening I was at an outdoor cafe in Northeast Portland, and this group of men and women walked in and sat at the table in front of me. They made have well as been the poster children for CrossFit – knee socks, tee-shirts about the types of “cleaning” they were into – and they appeared to have just left the gym . I took it as a sign to get myself moving, and when I got back to Missoula I called around to a few CrossFit gyms and got signed-up with 5 Valleys. That was a year and seven months ago.
Amy I know box jumps used to be your nemesis but you’ve been practicing hard and are now knocking them out on a box instead of plates which is super rad!! How much extra practice did it take to get better and what other movements are you working on?
It took a lot of extra practice! Physically, at first, and then it was all mental. For other people box jumps were so simple but not me! I stacked plates next to the box, jumped on curbs, park benches, hay bales, and even my couch. Hell, I even led myself through a guided meditation. Then one day I just said to myself, “screw it, enough already!” and I jumped on the damn box. Coach Emily was pretty helpful and got me over my final box jump flaw (hopping before actually jumping). In total it took me a year and five months to get that jump, but now it’s mine! The next movement I would like to get is a pull-up. I plan on practicing negatives and going from two red bands to one, knowing it is going to take me a while to be able to get the prescribed reps. But no worries, I will get there.
Are there any members at 5 Valleys that inspire you to keep working hard?
All of the members have inspired me, at different times, and for different reasons. For example, last week Carol’s “moderate” row pace for the 8 minute row was a sub 2, Katie and Whitney’s one max rep on the clean and jerks was impressive, Brad was nailing the clean and press, and when I came in on Friday night I saw Meredith pulling hard to get through the last set of wall balls. The week before that, it was Steve and Liz with muscle-up’s, the week before it was watching people training for the CrossFit open. Sue always pushes me to add just a little more to the bar and got me to sign up for a 10k in effort to learn to love the run. Also, I am inspired by what people are doing outside of the gym, things like RATPOD, The Rut, or when I hear people talk about things like being good parents, partners, and students. When I was working on my run this weekend, I thought about someone who is strong enough to do eight continuous handstand push-ups. I used that thought as my motivation to push through for another 30 seconds.
What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
I really like cooking for myself, but when I go out I like Scotty’s for brunch. They have great outdoor seating plus they have seared greens – seared is not steamed, and they know the difference! I like the Red Bird wine bar for fancy burgers, salads, or house-made sausage. Plus, they have cider that is made in the Bitterroot and it’s delicious. When I’m short on time, I like Good Food Store or Five on Black because you can make some pretty good “fast” food choices. That said, if you want something that is just good because it is bad, I’d choose Flippers: pitchers of beer, greasy bar menu, TVs, and watching your sport of choice, enjoy!
What type of music do you most like to workout to?
Generally I like to workout to the cardio-versions of what is popular on the radio, right now that would be Pit-Bull, Ne-Yo, and Maroon 5. I am happy with the 70’s and 80’s cardio rock you guys play too.
Tell us what an ideal Saturday would look like for you?
Depends on the season, but basically it involves waking up early and getting in a good work-out, then stealthily sneaking around town getting my chores done, be it gardening, hiking the dog, farmers market, cleaning the car – ideally all before 10am. From that point, the plan would be to have no specific plans. I may end up meeting friends, I may end-up going for a hike and laying on a rock in the sun with a good book, heading to the river, or something even more impromptu like heading to Glacier or Seeley for the weekend. No matter what, the ideal Saturday always leaves a fair amount of room for the unexpected, so basically the exact opposite of me on every other day. I have got to balance out the routine somehow!