Man, these months really fly by. December is here and that means it’s time to crown a new Athlete of the Month! This was a real no-brainer. In fact, if we had co-AOMs this dame might have shared the title in a previous month. Good people of CFSBK, I give you Sarah Haskins! Sarah is another OG SBKer who has been CrossFitting with us for over 2 years now. It took her some time to get in though, as you’ll read. With the other athlete’s who’ve been featured so far, all I did was ask them to meet with me to talk at the gym, no real reason. With Sarah, however, I figured I needed an excuse because I knew she’d ask why. I had to dupe her and tell her it was about the gym’s involvement in the Ragnar Relay team she’s captaining this year. She was suspicious though…
Fox – Thanks for meeting me and for staying late, Sarah. I lied to you about why we’re meeting…You’re our December Athlete of the Month!
Sarah – (sinks into couch) Why me? Man, you really need to work on your approach. I couldn’t sleep last night. I was nervous. I hoped this wasn’t why we were meeting.
Fox – Uh…huh?
Sarah – Jess (Bailey) had so many interesting things to say, I’ve got nothing interesting!
Fox – You’ll be fine. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you start CrossFit?
Sarah – I had gone with Paul (Sarah’s husband) when he did Murph with CFSBK in Prospect Park in May ’08. He had been at CFNYC for a bit and then heard about David and CrossFit South Brooklyn. Paul had been urging me to join for a few months. Murph, and then Fight Gone Bad in September, were my first impressions of CrossFit. I thought it was crazy but I was intrigued. I remember some of the girls, Steph Paddock and Margie, doing the workouts and that was very inspiring, made it seem less macho. I thought about it a while before signing up for Foundations, six months actually. I did Foundations in November 2008, and then promptly signed up for 5x/week.
Fox – Right into 5 days a week? Serious.
Sarah – I had thought about it for so long that I already knew it was what I wanted. I liked that it was scaleable and that I could track progress and it would have variety. I didn’t need to think about it anymore.
Fox – What were you coming to us from, fitness-wise?
Sarah – I was a runner, and had done a few ½ marathons and the NYC marathon. I was overweight though. After that I did this hip-hop dance class for a while. It wasn’t exercise for me because I couldn’t do the moves! I felt really uncoordinated. I eventually went on a diet and lost weight but still didn’t feel fit. I was looking to be fit. Enter, CrossFit.
Fox – So your goal when you came in was to be fit. What about now? Still the same or have your goals evolved?
Sarah – I do CrossFit, so I want to be better at CrossFit! I’ve had bad experiences with deadlifts so I want to improve there. I want to work on pushing myself as well. That’s a mental hurdle, to get into that uncomfortable zone and stay there. I used to feel really awkward on barbell cleans, but now I have a better understanding of the lift so that’s getting better too. Really more specifically I should say I want to get better at CrossFit South Brooklyn-ing. I’ve never looked at the CF mainsite or any other box. SBK is what I do, and I want to get better at all of it. When people talk about drama with this-or-that CrossFit thing I have no idea what they mean. I love our community and our coaches. People are really nice and I see how hard you guys work behind the scenes. It’s unlike what I’ve experienced elsewhere.
Fox – One thing we coaches admire about you is your excellent training habits. You get in on time and self prep a bit. You pay attention when a WOD or lift is being taught and do your best to respond to cueing. You ALWAYS know what you did and when you did it because you journal diligently. Talk a bit about that.
Sarah – I am pretty anal about stuff like that. I like to be organized. How else do you see progress and make informed decisions going forward? That’s one of the big appeals of CrossFit, tracking progress. Without that it’s just working out.
Fox – You’re near the end of a Strength Cycle. What’s that like? Any benefit’s yet.
Sarah – Well I’m stronger! I want to see if and how it benefits me when I go back to group classes. It’s great being in an intimate group with intimate coaching. It also helps you mentally prepare because you know what you’re doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next 8 weeks. It helps me to push a bit because if Jeremy says I’m squatting 145x5x3, I squat 145x5x3. I’ve had a hard time getting there on my own in group class where I can more easily shy away from heavy and opt for less on the bar.
Fox – Well not any more, Sarah. We’re on alert. Alright, tell me a bit about you outside of CrossFit. You’ve already revealed your hip-hop dancing past, which I couldn’t have guessed. What else is there?
Sarah – Well you know this, but I do hand embroidery. I started an embroidery group that meets monthly. I have a 3-year-old King Charles spaniel named Milo that Paul and I adore. I love chicken liver, and the only band in my ears is Morphine. Also, I pay the bills as a programmer for the city where I make digital online maps.
Fox – Tell me about the CFSBK Ragnar Relay team that you’re captaining. What’s that about?
Sarah – CrossFit has really opened my eyes to how much fun it can be to try new things, particularly physical things. I read Born to Run over the summer and decided I wanted to run an ultra. Then I decided that might be a bit ambitious and maybe I could start with a relay instead. I'm thrilled to have enough interest to have put the team together. From what I'm told Ragnar is part race and part party. And when else will you have the opportunity to run from the Catskills to NYC? We have one slot left if anyone is interested!
Fox – Last thing. What should we look for in a future CFSBK Athlete of the Month?
Sarah – Someone who’s inspirational and friendly. I think of people like Ryan who never seems to stop working, and Asta and Ariel who would never let someone walk into the gym and not be spoken to. Someone who makes group class less intimidating. It can be intimidating.
Fox – Awesome, Sarah! Congrats again, we’re so proud of you. Thanks again for waiting for me, and not being mad about me lying to you.
Huge congratulations to Sarah on earning December’s CFSBK Athlete of the Month spot! We think you’re a pretty good example of the qualities you said we should look for in an athlete for next month. We’re looking forward to seeing you progress at SBK and beyond. And, we hope you and your team rock the Ragnar!