2 Rounds for As Many Reps as Possible of:
2 Minutes Push Press* 135/95
1 Minute Rest
2 Minutes Toes to Bar
1 Minute Rest
2 Minutes Double Unders
1 Minute Rest
Jerks are no reps on the push press station. Focus on staying tight and keeping your midline as you press out. The load should be such that you can perform 10 unbroken and perfect reps of fresh.
Post reps per movement and Rx to comments.
As the competitive season for CrossFit gets into full swing with the Open, we get to know one of our members who’s been steadily upping her strength while becoming more competitive on metcons within the gym as well. Laura’s unassuming attitude, quirky sense of humor, and quiet demeanor belie her intentions…she wants to beat the person ahead of her. This determination and her eagerness to be coached along with her friendliness on a barbell rack caught our eye. Let’s get to know a bit more about the gal we coaches have called “Strong Laura” for a while now.
Fox – How did you first find CrossFit?
Laura – A friend had started at The Black Box: CFNYC and was getting super buff. I was immediately intrigued and started watching the mainsite videos. I remember watching a video of The Bear Complex and thinking about how badass all that barbell work looked. Soon after that, I started straying from my hamster-wheel cardio workouts and trying to do CrossFit at the Park Slope NYSC. I would grab like a 5 pound body bar and practice the clean and the snatch in a hidden corner of the gym so nobody could see me. I bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women and started to learn to squat and deadlift from it. I was also doing a lot of yoga, but I was frustrated by how little I was improving. Plus I was smoking like a chimney. I’d be the person you’d see having a cigarette right before entering the studio and then lighting up again, all zenned out, as soon as I was out the door.
Fox – Reformed smoker, I get it. No judgement. I also remember that Bear Complex video, classic! That was big weight back then, now it’s toy weight for those guys. I’m pretty impressed that you actually squatted and deadlifted on your own, too. What brought you to CFSBK?
Laura – Well as I was trying to do CF on my own and had brought my squat up to a staggering 85 pounds, I was also talking non-stop to Andrew, then only my boyfriend, about it. I’d avoided joining due to the cost. For an early birthday present in June 2012 he finally had heard enough and bought me the Foundations course, and also did it with me. We scheduled a private cycle with McDowell due to schedule constraints and it was great. I’m pretty sure that Andrew figured I’d move on from CrossFit after finally trying it, and I’m pretty sure I planned to go back to NYSC a little better equipped to keep training on my own. None of that happened. I quit smoking, joined SBK, and quit NYSC.
Fox – Ha, awesome. Aside from getting to snatch more than a 5 pound body bar, why did you end up staying with us?
Laura – I started to progress where I’d stalled and was learning new skills. I was never athletic, always super uncoordinated, and this was the first time in my life I started to feel like I wouldn’t be a wimpy klutz forever. My first double under felt like a miracle. So did my first handstand. It was also really inspiring to see women doing pull ups and know that if I kept working at it, someday I could do them too. I’m still not great at any of those movements, but I know that if I stopped coming, I would never get any better. Beyond that, I figured that if I was going to be spending 3-5 days a week going to the gym for an hour or more, I might as well talk to people and have fun with it, instead of just zoning out on an elliptical or hiding in a corner with a barbell. I never really knew anybody in classes I attended before unless I brought a friend, the environment simply didn’t foster it. Now I train among friends every time I’m here. Plus I really love the programming here, and the way the coaching staff brings it to life. You guys never seem to be phoning it in like I’ve seen in other classes I attended at “globo gyms”. I swear I’m not just sucking up!
Fox – “Suck Up Laura” is going to replace “Strong Laura”! Kidding. We always like to hear that we’re doing the job we strive to do. It’s so true that you can and should have fun with this stuff. How did you develop such a sunny outlook? Where are you from originally?
Laura – California, naturally. Santa Clara, in the Bay Area, to be exact. My parents are still there and I love to visit when I can. I moved to New York in 2005 to attend NYU for Art History. Now we live in Flatbush which is great. Aside from some great food we have sooo much space. Enough space in fact to keep up with my vintage chair collection. We have 12 chairs in our apartment.
Fox – Are they human sized, or this part of some dollhouse hobby?
Laura – Nope, all full sized. It’s embarrassing. I just love collecting junk. In my defense, it feels like a way to keep my love for art, craft, and design alive, even if the art history degree didn’t translate into a happy career. I now work in social services. I’d been working for some galleries and an auction house and felt like my soul was being sucked out of me. I started volunteering to distract myself from the misery of my old job and eventually landed my current gig as an analyst with Street to Home – Brooklyn/Queens. I work on policies to promote continuous quality improvement and evidence-based best practices, ensuring that we’re complying with our city contract and fulfilling our mission to end street homelessness. I love my job, but I do still crave art in my life. In addition to the chair hoarding, I also make ceramics—hand-thrown vases, planters, mugs and such–and I’m constantly doodling, lettering, and painting. And I love to cook. Andrew and I are sort of foodies I guess, so eating out at new hot spots and tasting new cuisines also satisfies some of the thirst for all things creative.
Fox – How did Andrew and you meet?
Laura – At a bar through a mutual friend. Romantic, I know. I was coming out of a long-term relationship, as was he, so I thought we would just have a summer fling and keep things casual. Andrew described me to his friends as “Fake ID” for the first month of our relationship. But eventually, we started spending more and more of our time together, and I realized that I actually kind of loved the guy. He lost his father about 6 months into our relationship, and working through that tragedy together really drove home how much he meant to me. We were married in September last year.
Fox – That’s nice to have such a positive takeaway from a sad loss. And to progress from booty calls after meeting in a bar to husband and wife is a great journey. Congrats!
Laura – Thanks! Fun fact about Andrew and I and that bar: Andrew is 10 years older, and the name of the bar was Lolita. Total Humbert Humbert.
Fox – Ha! You guys seem to have a great sense of humor. Alright, last stock question. What should we look for in a future Athlete of the Month?
Laura – First of all, someone who knows the value of being a nice person. And secondly, someone who challenges themselves. I know that when I see people working hard, lifting heavy, and going fast, it inspires me to do more.. I especially love the women who buck the “don’t lift heavy or you’ll get bulky” BS, and who aren’t concerned with what society says is beautiful. Those women are role models.
Fox – As are you Laura. Thanks for sitting down and sharing.
Don’t forget to submit your 14.2 scores to the CrossFit Games site by 8:00pm this evening.
Failing, Bailing, and Training Culture at CrossFit Affiliates Inside the Affiliate