We are thrilled to introduce our very first Member of the Month at CrossFit Rockaway Beach, Alyssa Vega! Alyssa’s dedication to getting in shape is no secret, as she can be found in our box faithfully, about 4-5x a week since she signed up just over a month ago. Her dedication to her health and fitness (she has 2 young children, 1 just 6 months old) is a commitment she has made to herself and stuck with it since walking through the door at CFRB ! Let’s be real, CrossFit training is no walk in the park and was completely new to Alyssa. As intimidating as it can be to the newcomer or outsider, Alyssa conquered her fears, stepped through our doors and is totally committed to changing her fitness to ultimately change her life.
What made you come to turn to CrossFit?
In October, I attended a CrossFit event called “Barbells for Boobs” at a box in Maryland while I was visiting my friend Lauren. She had started doing CrossFit earlier this year, and had invited me to participate in the event. I had never been to a CrossFit box or done any type of CrossFit workout, so I didn’t know what to expect. The workout was “Grace”. She and her mom (both CF coaches) guided me through the moves. When the workout started, I was surprised to see how much encouragement was going on. Everyone was cheering for each other. It was really nice. I thought, “This must be because we are not in New York.” I was wrong about that though. The next day, Lauren and I looked up boxes in my area, and I was shocked to find out that there was a box few blocks away from me. I walked over, spoke to one of the coaches, and signed up that same day.
What type of work outs did you do in the past?
I’ve always had a membership to a gym. When I’d go, I’d do some easy elliptical or treadmill work. I was usually intimidated to go to the weight room. In April of last year, I started Insanity and completed it two months later. That was the first really challenging work out I had ever done. A few weeks later, I found out I was expecting baby #2.
What is your favorite part of training?
My favorite part of training is seeing how my body can adapt to new challenges. Being able to do something that I wasn’t able to do two weeks ago feels very empowering.
What do you like about CFRB?
There are so many great things about CFRB. Mostly, I love the positive atmosphere. I find that it is very contagious. I could come in having a bad day, and by the time I leave, I feel completely different. Also, I feel very comfortable here. At a regular gym, I’d choose a machine that was kind of tucked away, to avoid being noticed. At CFRB, I don’t feel ashamed or judged by anyone.
What are your goals?
My main goal is to reach a healthy weight, of course. Beyond that, I’d like to be really fit. My older daughter is five years old, and I’d like to set a good example of how we should take care of our bodies. I’d also like to do some challenges someday. There is a Spartan Race in April 2014, that I really hope to participate in.
What were/are some the challenges you have faced?
I have a few physical challenges, due to a messed up back. But, my biggest challenges have been mental. My first week at CFRB, I had so many doubts. The thought “I must be kidding myself” would cross my mind many times. At one of my Elements classes, while attempting a pull up, I literally broke down and cried. I walked away, ready to quit. Chris came over and gave me some very encouraging words. He said that I can’t let my mind get in the way. That everyone starts at a different level, and not to worry about what others are doing, and just focus on trying my best. I figured, he is an expert…if he thinks that I am capable of this, then it must be that I am. At that moment, I decided to stop doubting myself. I wiped my tears, and went right back to the rig. Since then, instead of thinking “how the heck am I going to do this?” I think “I am totally going to this, and I’m going to do my best.” Sometimes I have to modify the moves. But I still put in all my effort, knowing that the modifications will lead to me being able to do the actual moves someday.
Your most memorable WOD?
My favorite WOD ever was definitely the Thanksgiving WOD, even though burpees were involved. There were so many athletes there, and it was a lot of fun. It was also my first time back on the bar, since that “fateful” Elements class. The move was 30 “toes to bar.” I modified it by bringing my knees up to waist level—barely. But, I was able to hang on the bar and do all 30 reps, which felt great.