Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interview with a Crossfitter: Talia Giordano, Crossfit Novem

My next interview in my series is:  Talia Giordano,  my sister.  Her and I did our first ever Crossfit class together.  After,  I had a hunger inside lift more than her.  Although she still out lifts me in some ways,  I am more street smart so we both know I WILL SURVIVE during the Zombie Apocalypse.  Her,  that's debatable.   Although she can lift heavy and run fast,  I see her giving up before me.    Talia's deadlift is 300 something,  mine is like 280.  Talia's backsquat is like 220,  mine is like 195.  The point I am trying to make is..... I have slipped discs in my back.  That is the only reason she is stronger than me at this moment.

Anyway, on with why I chose her.  Talia,  she's one tough bitch.    She has been my best friend for the better part of 27 years.  She has always been athletically inclined,  even when we were kids.  I guess I always kind of looked up to her in that way.    Talia and I could not be more polar opposites.  She is tall and thin,  I am short and stubby. 
She has been through some trials and tribulations and she has always remained dedicated to fitness. She pushed me to keep coming with her to Crossfit even when in the beginning I felt like my legs and arms may fall off if I did.  She'd beep her  horn outside of my house every morning at 5:15am and I would think.... WHAT THE F.  But, I went.  I went almost every day until my back got really hurt.  Then,  after PT she encouraged me to go back.  So,  I went back.  And I keep going back.  A lot of that,  is because of her.

Without further a due,  let me introduce:

Talia Giordano
Affaliate: Crossfit Novem
Age:  28
Birthday:  August 3rd,  1985
Hometown:  Gibbstown, NJ
Current City of Residence:  Philadelphia, PA
Q: When did you join Crossfit?

a. October 2012

Q:  What made you want to join Crossfit?

a. A friend was opening a crossfit gym and suggested I couldn’t handle the workouts. Of course I had to prove him wrong. He was betting I would throw up on my first WOD, which has still never happened (Am I not working hard enough? Fran was the closest I have ever come). I also have always been athletic and was really getting bored of spinning and the treadmill and zumba (yes zumba – the bar saw many a zumba moves when I was attending those classes). Crossfit was becoming big and I saw it everywhere. It was very interesting to me - people really pushing themselves during their workouts – and I wanted that, I wanted something to push me (because the 50-60 year old ladies of zumba weren’t doing it). 

Q:  Can you recall any of your thoughts from after your first Crossfit class?

a. My first class was farmers carry, squats and singles jump rope. Of course my squat was torn apart, I was not low enough of course. I had to squat on a ball (which I loved because I felt like “yaaaayyyy I get to sit in between”). It wasn’t as hard or as scary as I thought and I liked how I was able to compete against others in the class to finish the WOD. I soon found out that crossfit is only as hard as you make it and I am WAY to competitive to not push myself harder and harder each day. My second workout I was taught overhead presses. I used just the 45# bar and it was SO HARD. I don’t remember how many I could do, but I know it wasn’t many. I kept thinking, “I have to do this in workouts? AND ADD WEIGHT????” Now overhead presses are my favorite and I certainly can lift much more than just the 45# bar. 

Q: What motivated you to want to become a certified Crossfit trainer?

a. Who wouldn’t want to be a trainer after doing crossfit is a better question? I love crossfit so much. It is like a piece of me now. It makes just as much sense to do crossfit everyday like it makes sense to be a social worker (my day job). And I want to get better and learn as much as I can. And Camille was one of my instructors so that was AMAZING! After my L1 I felt like I needed to learn even more so I got my crossfit gymnastics cert. That was SO much fun. I basically got to hang upside down and do head stands and handstands all weekend. Sadly I don’t have enough time in the day to work, coach and train, so when I devoted myself to one of those things at 100%, the other two had to drop down in priority. Plus I love sleep and need at least 9 hours a night so that leaves me less time in the day. One day when I’m rich I will be able to better organize my schedule to accommodate all of my passions. 

Q: Has Crossfit or Physical Fitness in General helped you in any other ways in your life?

a. Once i had to deadlift a large rock off of my grandmother to save her life. Another time I had to pull myself up into a tree to avoid a massacre of wild coyotes. Generally physical fitness has helped me in my everyday life by allowing me to walk without getting tired, getting onto and off of the toilet, and handstand walking when my feet are too tired for the job. Crossfit isn’t about helping me out right now, it’s about helping me out in the future when it’s the Day After Tomorrow, War of the Worlds, The Walking Dead, and Shaun of the Dead.

Q:  What are some feelings you had after your first CrossFit class?
a: I remember feeling.. “I should have beat that other person in that WOD! Next time I will try harder” and “thank goodness I didn’t throw up.” Haha, my competitive side got the best of me and I haven’t stopped since.  

Q:  Do you feel as though Crossfit has changed you in anyway as a person? 
a: Sometimes If I look in the mirror at the right angle I have a butt and abs. I think that is due to CrossFit. Otherwise I am physically stronger… like way stronger. I remember when I could barely lift the 45# bar and now I can jerk 160#, deadlift 315# and (newest PR, front squat 200# - holla). It has also helped me reconnect with my competitive and athlete side. You don’t feel like much of an athlete when you are running on a treadmill at the gym, CrossFit has definitely given that back to me.

Q:  Exercise is said to increase a persons happiness,  would you agree Crossfit has helped you with any struggles you've had over the last two years?
a: Exercise increases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t kill their husbands…. True statement. All exercise has always made me happy and helps me with stress. Going through a divorce (wah wah) definitely requires some exercise to help deal with all of the bullshit that goes with it. Not only has CrossFit given me the post workout happiness, it has also given me amazing, supportive friends that have really helped me deal with all this crap. For instance when I was looking for somewhere else to live, I was able to live with a great friend who I met through CrossFit. Then when I moved to Philadelphia, first time EVER living outside of NJ, I was unsure of my decision to move and was contemplating moving back to NJ… then I met amazing friends through my new CrossFit gym and I am so happy with my decision to be here.

Q:  What would you say is your biggest accomplishment thus far while doing CrossFit? 
a: Usually when I don’t feel like going to the gym I somehow force myself to and end up doing really great. I recently was thinking of going home to nap after work instead of going to the gym, but I somehow managed the strength (totally a pun) to force myself to go. I went and PR’ed my front squat. My first PR in like 10 months!!!!!! Basically my biggest accomplishment is forcing myself to go (almost) every day. Hallelujah.
Oh and getting my shoulder back to almost a completely healthy condition. That is actually the biggest accomplishment since I used to have shoulder pain every day, all day. Now I don’t (after lots of doctors, physical therapy and SHOULDER REST) and I’m back in full CrossFit shape.

Q:  Have you ever competed in a competition for Crossfit?  If so,  how many and how did you do? 
a: Hmmmm. I have definitely competed. Maybe 6 or 8. My best ever was the 2013 Baby Leave the Socks on Competition where I came in 11th out of 50ish for the final score and 3rd in the Deadlift workout.

Q:  What is the heaviest weight you have ever lifted? 
a: 315# deadlift.

Q:  Out of all of the movements that are part of Crossfit,  what would you say is your favorite? 
a: Box jumps & wall balls (thank you height advantage), double unders, sit ups (because who doesn’t love to lay down while working out) and hand stand pushups (because it’s so fun being upside down!)

Q:  What are your thoughts on CrossFit as a Community?
a: You can go anywhere around the country and even world and find a CrossFit gym that will accept you and support you. It’s honestly quite heartwarming (and sappy) to know that I could become a part of another gym anywhere and still get that.  I also think it’s very expensive to have that support – but I guess therapy ain’t cheap. 

Q:  What is one thing you would tell to someone interested in trying Crossfit for the first time?
a: PLEASE DO IT – it’s so much fun and you seriously meet the coolest, nicest, funnest people in the world – and they most likely will house you when you are going through a divorce.


Stay tuned for my next interview with:  Kate Conneen,  Crossfit Solstice

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