Athlete Profile #1 Alexis Brown

The first of our athlete profile series, where we feature a Q&A with a CrossFit Santa Fe athlete.  If you are interested in being featured let a coach know and we will give you the questionnaire! Don’t be shy, you are awesome!!

Alexis Brown
Age: 34
Height/weight: 5’9”/240lbs

When did you start CrossFit? Started CF: Jan 17, 2011

What inspired/pushed/led/drove you to start CrossFit? Depression had me gain about 100lbs between ages 19 and 32. It was a slow enough digression that it was easy for me to ignore it. Booze and drugs and a dysfunctional relationship helped hide the nasty realty, as well. About a year prior to joining Undisputed Fitness I had started to take steps to improve my life. I was fearful of reaching 300lbs, and knew something had to change. I finally cut ties with “Mr. Dysfunction.” I made minor adjustments to diet. I started drinking less. I started walking every day. Those walks turned into hikes several times a week. I saw slow improvement in my health, and lost 20lbs in about 8 months. But it wasn’t enough. I had hit a mental and physical plateau. I needed to push myself if I expected to reach my goal of living a healthy life, which really is my ultimate goal – to live life with a healthy mind and a healthy body.  A friend of mine mentioned she had been talking to Heather about CrossFit. Just that mention was all it took for me to decide to go in for an introduction.  Something told me that CrossFit would get me to a place where my body wouldn’t hold me back any more.

What kinds of changes have you seen since becoming an athlete? The results I’ve seen in the past 4 months have been pretty drastic. At first I wasn’t losing any weight, but my body was changing shape. I was getting stronger, faster, more flexible. But this wasn’t what kept me going. There are two primary things about doing CrossFit at Undisputed Fitness that have inspired me to continue: the support and encouragement from coaches and classmates, and the fact that the endorphins have essentially rid me of the depression that got me into such a pickle to begin with. From the first day I knew this is where I NEEDED to be in order to reach my goals. I couldn’t do it alone any more.

What was your first workout? My first WOD was 20 AMRAP: 6 DL, 7 burpees, 10 KB swings, 200m run. Pretty intense for a newbie. My three classmates were folks that were all in great shape, and so I felt a little intimidated, singing to myself  the old Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same.” But I did it. Barely. I got in three rounds because I couldn’t run the entire first 200m, and so did a lot of walking. When the 20 minutes was up I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself, because my classmates immediately came up and congratulated me on how well I did. That feeling is one I will never forget, and it keeps me coming back.

What is different about your experience as CrossFitter vs. working out in other ways? Coach Heather has been such an amazing support system for me. Her encouragement has helped me see that I CAN do this, that I WILL succeed….hell, that I AM succeeding. Coach Crow has helped me learn to push myself, to not puss out half-way through. I read their blog religiously. I’m like a sponge…wanting to soak in as much of their knowledge as possible. I am so completely confident in the knowledge that Heather, Crow, and Tait have – I feel safe when I attempt these difficult tasks. I know that they will never put me in a position where I could hurt myself. (This is something I can say I never felt at any other gym before.)

I learn and grow at each class. I get better and better every day – in mind and body. I keep coming back despite the fact that I may have to do something I hate, like burpees (BLECH!) or ring dips (which have brought me to tears). I learn more about my body – how to control it, how to breathe through difficult moments, what my body’s limits really are and not the limits my mind tries to tell me. I have learned how to take pride in my successes, and how to set new goals when I may fail.

What changes have you made in regards to eating habits? Two months in I jumped on the Paleo wagon, and that’s when the pounds started to drop. In less than two months I’ve lost 15 lbs, and I know it’s the combination of changes I’ve made to my diet and the continued effort I put in to CrossFit. I’m only doing Paleo about 80% of the time, and hope to increase so I only “cheat” once a week, if that. (But chocolate….how can life be worth living if there is no chocolate?!?!)

How has  CrossFit become part of your life outside of the gym? I talk about CrossFit all the time. Sometimes I feel like I am getting on my friends’ nerves because I talk about it so much. When people ask me “what’s new?” I almost always answer with something like “I ran a full mile the other day!” or “I got a new personal record with my deadlift!” My enthusiasm and visible physical improvements have inspired others to try CrossFit. I hope that I continue to inspire others, just as Heather, Tait, Crow, and Nate have inspired me.

Stats: One rep max deadlift: 225lbs (I’m a burly bitch, yo!)

Because I’m still so new I haven’t repeated any of these WOD, but my original times/reps are:

Annie: 20:18

Helen: 19:11

Cindy: 11 rounds

Cindy’s Got Balls: 7 rounds

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing yourself like this Alexis!

Comment by Mona Malec — June 7, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

😀 Can’t wait till the time when I don’t cringe at seeing pictures of myself.

Comment by Alexis B — June 7, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

Yay! way to go Alexis – thanks for sharing! Always inspiring when we share our true selves with each other – as athletes, as people…

Comment by Ana Deardorff — June 7, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

Mobility WOD