This is Irene. She is one of MANY women at my gym who inspire me. You’re going to see more of these amazing movers in the coming months.
Irene is just one of those people who seemed to latch on to CrossFit like a fish to water. I remember when she started – she seemed a little nervous, but more excited. Within a couple of months she was kicking some serious a##.
For me, it’s always about watching how someone moves. Irene moves really fluidly – she throws around a great deal of weight, but it’s like the barbells are an extension of her own body. It’s really fun to watch her move. She inspires me.
I think she’ll inspire you too. Here’s her story, in her own words:
Have you always been a mover?
Yes — maybe not always in a specific sport, but growing up, I’d much prefer doing something active (swimming, playing tag, etc) over watching TV or reading. I ran cross country and track in high school, and then continued running leisurely (with some 5k’s, half-marathons, and 2 marathons) since then.
What are your favorite ways to move your body?
Most sports that don’t require aiming, haha. In general, I’m not the best athlete when it comes to sports where there’s a target/goal involved, so that’s why I stuck with running for so long. Prior to joining CrossFit and outside of running, I occasionally enjoyed yoga, swimming, biking, and hiking.
How/When did you find CrossFit?
My classmate had really brought it to my attention about 2-3 years ago. Before she mentioned it, I thought it just was for superstar athletes who are ripped. During the training for my most recent TC marathon, I got really bored of training/running by myself, and running in general. I knew I had endurance locked down, but I never thought of myself as being “strong.” The winter and spring after that marathon, I tried ClassPass, which allowed me to check out different gyms and workouts. I knew I had wanted to join a CrossFit gym then, but I couldn’t get over how much it would cost me. Finally, I was enticed by Timberwolf, and the rest is history.
What do you like about it?
I like that it’s constantly a new/different challenge. If it’s not a challenge with burpees today, then it’s a challenge with deadlifts or pull-ups or double-unders or etc. Because there are so many movements, there’s always something to improve on. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to master all of the things I’d like to (Rachel Shores is goals AF). Also, I really enjoy the TWCF community. Even though most of the workouts are done individually, I can count on other gym members to push me through it.
Is moving your body important to you? Why?
Definitely. Not only is it a stress reliever, but I have to be active in order to balance the sitting I do all day at school, haha. Not only that, but in my mind, it’s a privilege to be able to move my body. Our bodies and the movements they can produce are gifts, and I consider myself lucky to be born relatively healthy and physically-able. I also think about how I don’t want to be sitting in my rocking chair 40 years from now thinking about how I wish I would’ve moved more when I was physically able to.
What have you learned?
I’ve learned so much about weights (in general) since joining CrossFit. I don’t feel as awkward walking into a weight room (there will always be awkwardness, haha). Also, I’ve learned more about my body and how it changes with the stresses I’m putting on it — how my shoulders take a lot of the hits that my hips aren’t helping with -_- (I really want to work on that).
What are your goals?
I want to be stronger – lift heavier (back squats and deadlifts), be able to a chest to bar, muscle up, handstand walk, and 2 double-unders in a row, and maybe also work on overhead lifts (snatches kill me). Another goal is do more research on nutrition, and how it can supplement/complement my workouts.
How does moving your body support the all of you?
Gives me a time and space to focus on me — because when you’re gasping for air after your 16th burpee, you’re not thinking about what frustrated you at work today or the many responsibilities you have to deal with after.
What advice do you have for people around movement?
Move in the way that goes with your flow and makes you happy and present.
Thanks Irene! You’re an amazing mover.
I hope we’ll get to work out together again soon.
Until then, know that you are an inspiration.