Congratulations to Perpetua Athletes of the Month – Susannah Frieze and Nikola Trifunovic

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Congratulations to Perpetua Athletes of the Month – Susannah Frieze and Nikola Trifunovic!
They were chosen by all the coaches for the massive improvements they have been making and all the hard work they put in.
Keep it up guys!

Meet Susannah

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1> Where are you from?
Originally from Yorkshire but I moved to London straight from uni so consider myself a Londoner. I live in Shepherd’s Bush.

2> When you’re not at Perpetua what do you do for work and for fun?
I work as Director of External Affairs at a large prep school around the corner from CrossFit Perpetua. It’s a grand title but it turns out that the department of External Affairs that I ‘direct’ consists of….me, alone, doing about seven jobs. It’s fun, though, and very busy without being remotely stressful. The staff are a great bunch, the children are sparky and the parents are demanding, bright, entertaining and, in many cases, wonderful people. One or two of them are members of Perpetua, so they must be OK…

3> How did you find out about CrossFit?
I already knew about CrossFit from a business deal I worked on a few years ago and had always told myself that if there was ever one gym I would join (I hate gyms) it would be CrossFit but there aren’t any near me in West London. Then I ran into James Rice at a dinner and was moaning about my lack of fitness and how there were no decent options around me, when he leant in with an evangelical gleam in his eye and said, “You idiot, there’s a CrossFit two minutes from where you work – that’s the perfect solution for you.” Annoyingly, of course, he was absolutely right.

4> How long have you been a member at Perpetua?
Just since November 2015 – I joined classes in December.

5> Why do you do CrossFit?
James Rice has a theory that everyone (truly) does it to look good naked. So let’s take that as read. But for me it was more of a road to Damascus moment back in September when I realised that I was looking at a fork in the road: that, aged 46 years old, I could either stumble into middle and old age as a fat, injury-plagued old misery or I could take some affirmative action now and instead transform myself into a fit, able-bodied, non-obese, active citizen who becomes one of those perky old ladies that I admire so much. Of course, now I do it because I’m totally addicted and get slightly edgy on the days that i don’t do it……

6> How often do you train?
Five days a week, going to an early morning class. Occasionally I pop in on the way home from work and do 20 minutes extra.

7>What are your fitness goals?
Short-term: to do proper honest-to-goodness push-ups and, one day, someday, eventually, when I’m old and grey, to do one stinking pull-up.
Medium-term: to get to a point where I can partake in the Open…
Long-term: to be lifting weights and looking ripped(ish) when I’m 70…

8> What is your greatest achievement?
At CrossFit? Going from a deadlift of 25kgs to 100kgs in one class. In life: racking up a number of published books – both novels and non-fiction – before I was 35.

9> What or who motivates you?
A strange blend of determination to prove doubters wrong, love of the team spirit at CrossFit, growing personal pride and, let’s face it, the vanity of receiving compliments and the odd jaw-drop moment from friends and family.

10> What is your favourite and least favourite WOD or movement?
My favourite movement is the first 30 seconds of a row, when everything feels in tune and smooth and powerful… my least favourite is the box jump. Partly because I keep falling off it. Partly because, having winched myself up to doing the 20″ ‘normal’ height, I’ve now got the fear once more and can’t do it. But mostly because even when I do it, the woeful difference between others floating up to their higher levels and me thumping like an elephant onto mine is just too shaming.

11>Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them starting out?
I have become evangelical myself about CrossFit and have recommended it to family, friends, workmates and strangers on the bus…. The advice I would give (and have given) is that any fear is totally unnecessary – the fear of your first class, though terrifying in its anticipation, goes within seconds. And the fear of not being able to keep up or match up? Well, the words “scaled option” are music to those fear-filled ears as is the amazing ability of the coaches not to condescend or make you feel small.

12>Favourite cheat meal?
Anything with lashings of chips and booze

13> Favourite thing about Perpetua?
The conviviality – and the feeling of incredible empowerment that comes from exercising alongside a ripped, superfit 22 year old, knowing that you are both going to do the same class (albeit scaled differently) and will both be puffing, sweaty and exhilarated by the end.

14>Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest moment at Perpetua?
Leaving aside the many times I’ve done a sprawled face plant from a box jump, or had a wardrobe malfunction in front of Popey of all people, the most memorably embarrassing moment was when Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, had been coming in to Perpetua and, entirely without thinking, I came in the next day wearing my Superman t-shirt, thereby looking like a groupie. Stuart noticed and I was teased relentlessly.

I want to thank Alexis, my amazing coach, and all the other coaches, for being the beating, laughing heart and soul of CFP. Bring on the banter….

Meet Nikola

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1> Where are you from?
Switzerland, Serbia, Costa Rica

2> When you’re not at Perpetua what do you do for work and for fun?
I’m an actor, so my work IS fun and my fun is work. I am also a certified PT and work part time as a fitness instructor.

3> How did you find out about CrossFit?
I don’t remember! YouTube maybe?

4> How long have you been a member at Perpetua?
Since July last year.

5> Why do you do CrossFit?
Fitness has always been a big part of my life, and I have always wanted to be good at everything. That pretty much sums up CrossFit.

6> How often do you train?
5-8 sessions a week.

7>What are your fitness goals?
Become bigger and stronger. Then become leaner and faster. Improve my coordination, agility and my body’s movement vocabulary. Endurance, stamina, etc etc, the list goes on. Most importantly though, keep having fun, and getting a good pump!

8> What is your greatest achievement?
I don’t know. But I’m pretty proud of the 8kg I’ve gained since joining Perpetua…

9> What or who motivates you?
YouTube sadly! Those CrossFit HQ videos are addictive. A good group of people, which Perpetua never lacks! Justin Bieber! ;-p (That one’s for Rob and Ozzy)

10> What is your favourite and least favourite WOD or movement?
Keeps changing. I’ve always quite liked Power Cleans. At the moment though definitely bicep curls! Haven’t seen them in any WOD lately though, so I just do them after. Bar facing burpees or burpee box jumps in an already gassy WOD, on the other hand, are my idea of hell.

11>Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them starting out?
I keep trying. One of my brothers is already hooked. The other one sort of does his own thing based on CrossFit, he just doesn’t like to call it that. My parents think they’re too old, so I keep trying to show them motivational videos of people 20 years their senior, who have just re-learned how to tie their shoe laces and so on. I watched an interview recently with Adrian Bozman, where they asked him how he convinces people to start CrossFit, and he simply said ‘I don’t’. To a degree I agree with him – people will find all kinds of excuses when they want/don’t want to. Those with an open mind will try it and if they enjoy it they’ll keep doing it. End of story. Everyone else is just missing out.

12>Favourite cheat meal?
Every meal is a cheat meal, no?

13> Favourite thing about Perpetua?
I honestly joined Perpetua because I think it is the best box in London. I tried out a lot of them, and most were way closer to my home. It takes me 45mins and three trains to get there, but I still try and make it every day. The fact that there are multiple huge spaces, with top-standard equipment and facilities, a superb team of coaches and just a general feel good atmosphere goes unbeaten. (Or shall I say Unbroken…)

14>Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest moment at Perpetua?
Within the humble time frame I have been at Perpetua, I suppose the Open were a pretty good high. Especially during 16.1 and 16.2 I thought the vibe was electrifying. Good food (shout out to Sam and his Park Road Kitchen, and Gilesy’s sis!), good music, good people, good workouts. What else can you ask for?

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