Sunday, November 1, 2015

An Interview with Kristen Gray: GRACE WHO?

Let me Prologue, if you will,  how this interview idea came about....

Once upon a time....  in a Crossfit Gym...

I go to the gym, I workout,  I lift weights,  I leave.  Same day,  different shit.  I keep people mostly in my peripheral,  just kind of watching them.  I insert funny one liners here or there, because I'm funny as shit.  But mostly,  I just workout.  Lift,  cheer, encourage,  keep moving, don't die.  Not that I don't like to interact,  but after a long days work I'm just tired. With mentally struggling about the fact that I'm adopted, and my decision to drop out of college, and the fact that IBM's sales have surpassed ours my brain is just every where.  Wait wait, that's the story of Steve Jobs.  Not me.  Shit.  Basically, after work I'm just tired so I just like to workout, decompress, and think about dinner.

On the night of Grace (30 95lb Clean and Jerks),  Kristen (who I've noticed lifting before) looked over at me and said "Elyse are you doing RX?" and I said,  "Sure why the not (or something with a curse word along those lines).   She was unsure,  to RX or not to RX, a question as old as time itself.  Back and forth with different weights, questioning, puzzling her puzzler.   I asked her if she felt she could do a couple,  and she said yes.  Then Eminem came over the speakers and I said Rock and Roll kid,  DO IT.  It probably wasn't quite that epic or movie like (there was no epic high five with the back drop of well planned fireworks), but you get the idea.    So, she did it.  And she kicked it's ass.  Hi there, new friend :).

Without further a due....  meet Kristen Gray,  CrossFit Solstice's weight liftin' Ass Kicker

1.      When did you start CrossFit?

      I started in January 2015.

2.       What or Who made you want to start CrossFit?

    I thought about joining CrossFit for two years but I was afraid to sign-up. I used to go to Planet Fitness but I was bored with it and had zero motivation when I was there. I would run a mile on the treadmill, then subsequently stare at the free weights and machines and leave. I knew I needed something that was going to hold me accountable and keep me disciplined. I wanted a challenge. Everyone was always talking about CrossFit so finally I decided I was going to try it out. Knowing that Julie Iacovelli went to CrossFit Solstice, I messaged her on Twitter and asked her how she liked CrossFit.  She helped me sign up for the On-Ramp program. Fast forward 9 months and I feel the best I’ve ever felt.

3.       Why did you chose CrossFit Solstice initially, and what has made you stay?

    Honestly, the reason I initially joined was because Justin Vee is my cousin and it was close to home. One of the main reasons I love Solstice is because it’s a big family. Everyone is so nice and always motivating each other. The coaches are really invested in helping you reach your greatest potential. I never thought I would become obsessed with CrossFit but there’s something about it that I love.

4.       What are your favorite workouts in CrossFit?

    Cleans, Back Squats, and any METCON with a time cap.

5.       Going into CrossFit what was your overall goal?  Has that goal changed as you have progressed at CrossFit?

    My overall goals were to make CrossFit part of my routine and give 100% in every workout. I remember during one of my On-Ramp classes in February, I participated in the Fight Gone Bad workout. At the end, I was looking at everyone out of breath and on the ground.  I heard Justin say “If you are not on the ground, you didn’t work hard enough.” (insert note from author: picture this being said in the booming voice of the Great and Powerful Oz)
    I thought he was absolutely crazy but later I thought maybe he was right. Maybe I could have done more reps and pushed myself harder. I believe this was the turning point for me. There was another level of intensity I could reach; I just had to believe in myself and listen to my Coaches. I still have the same goal of giving 100% in every workout.

6.       Had you ever done Grace before October 2015? What were your thoughts going into Grace and what motivated you to RX the workout?

    That was my first time completing Grace.  I made up my mind the night before that I was only going to do 80 lbs. I thought there was absolutely no way I could do 30 Clean and Jerks at 95 lbs. within a 5 minute time cap. In fact, 5 minutes before we started Grace, you could hear me still contemplating about whether I should RX the workout or not. Eventually, Alli, Elyse, and Jen convinced me I could do it.

8.       How did you feel during the workout and what were some of the thoughts going through your head?

    I started out feeling great but when I got about halfway through, I started to get tired and could only do singles. I remember getting to 25 and I could hear everyone cheering and helping me count to the end. It really helped!  However, whenever we do benchmark workouts, I’m always thinking about food and what to eat for dinner.  (me too girl, me too)

9.       How long did it take you to complete Grace?  
    It took me 4 minutes and 32 seconds to complete my first ever Grace.

10.    What would you say to someone interested in joining CrossFit?
    Do it! It will change your life because it’s changed mine!

11.   Do you have a favorite CrossFit Athlete?  
    Yes!! Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.

12.  Who inspires you?

    To the Coaches-Alli, Christie, Dave, Justin, Jason, Pat, and Ron--------------
    There aren’t enough words to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you. You have all helped me grow tremendously over the past few months. I’ve been pushed to limits and achieved results I never thought were possible. Thank you for never giving up on me or letting me give up on myself.  

    To my fellow Solstice Athletes---------------
    There are times when I think I’m not going to make it through a workout but your motivating words always help me finish. I look up to every single one of you and admire your hard work, dedication, and strength. Thank you for being with me through my successes and failures.