Congratulations to our Athletes of the Month: Jo and James

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Everyone give a big round of applause for Jo and James, our June Athletes of the Month! Did you know that Jo is a pianist and James’ nickname is Ciccio? No? Read on, CFSLers!

Meet Jo Robinson

unnamed-1Tell us a bit about yourself…what do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun?
By day I work in the commercial property world, and by night and early morning I teach Spinning to Battersea’s finest. Out of work, if something involves one or all of the following, I’m a happy chica: dancing, running, music, sunshine, the beach, friends, family, gin, Mexican food, nut butters, Quest bars, dark chocolate (CFSL says: This is well and truly a girl after our own hearts…. Dark chocolate AND nut butter? ::swoon::) .

How did you get involved in CrossFit?
One of my friends had been doing it for years and he raved about how much I would love it, so I finally gave it a go. Whilst I did love the gym, I never felt like it was challenging or varied enough…and we all know that ‘challenging’ and ‘varied’ are definitely two words to describe CrossFit.

When did you first join CFSL?
Just after Christmas. This was actually planned; it wasn’t a post-Christmas indulgence ‘must sort my life out’ impulse.

What was your first WOD in the classes?
I think it was thrusters and burpees. I think. There were definitely burpees, I know that. I do remember it was a partner WOD so I had Patsy there to share the joy.

When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?
It actually wasn’t instant with me. For about the first 3 months I found it difficult to shake the habit of the past few years, and as a result tried to incorporate BOTH gym and CrossFit, as well as teaching Spin…looking back I now see the error of my ways. And yes, I was one of those who cherry-picked my workouts, tut tut. I ended up knackered (I can’t think why) and not enjoying CrossFit as much as I had hoped to. When I decided to (and excuse the cheesy cliché, I swear I’ve not been told to say this) trust in the programming and just commit to CrossFit, I found myself finally loving it and being able to put everything into each and every workout and therefore getting the most out of it. So yeah, long story short, I realised CrossFit was right for me about 3 months in.

What are your short term and long term goals?
Short term: at least 1 strict pull-up. I get a tad frustrated that my upper body doesn’t follow my legs in their strength abilities! Long term it would be to look at the WOD and not need to scale any of it, on a consistent basis.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Can I have two? I’m having two… (CFSL says: Of course!) The first would be achieving my Grade 8 in piano when I was 17. The second is winning the Sport Relief and Metro comp earlier this year, which took me to Sport Relief projects in Kenya; it was a completely life-changing experience that gave me a whole new perspective.

What is your favourite WOD / movement?
Deadlifts and squats. Always. I do like an EMOM, or anything that’s not a sprint workout.

What is your least favourite WOD / movement?
A few weeks ago I would have said rowing and wall balls, however we seem to be friends at the moment. I’m trying not to dislike anything because if I do, I don’t go into it with the right mindset. Saying that, I find it hard to be positive about wall climbs. Least favourite WOD is anything with pull-ups, but that’s purely because I haven’t got them yet.

Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them?
Definitely. I’ve tried to talk a few of my girlfriends into it, but I think the thing they’re most interested in is guys working out with their shirts off. So shallow, I know. Advice-wise, I’d tell them to never compare themselves to others, because it’s so easy to forget your own progress if you’re looking at someone who has been training for much longer, or has an athletic background. It’s also fine to go back to basics and start things from the very beginning. When I started I wanted to be able to do everything, without realising how long it can take to get there, so I learned to be totally cool with the ‘all in good time’ outlook and simply working on progressions or scaling the WODs. Oh, and never skip a day just because you feel you’re going to struggle with the movements / strength piece or you’re going to have to scale all of the WOD, because on days like this you’re going to have to work your butt off and there’s no better feeling than when you see a progression, no matter how small.

Favourite song to WOD to:
Tidal Wave by Sub Focus (thanks for that one James!).

Meet James Rice

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Tell us a bit about yourself…what do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun?
I’m 49 with two teenage kids. I work at Bank of America – Crossfit and Spinning are my fun, and also skiing and cycling.

How did you get involved in CrossFit?
I think I read about CrossFit on a website about the Primal way of eating – marksdailyapple.com (CFSL says: This is a great website, be sure to check it out CFSLers)

When did you first join CFSL?
I joined last year in September, I believe.

What was your first WOD in the classes?
Aah, can’t remember exactly but I do recall being humiliated by overhead squats early on…

When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?
I was sure even during the PT induction sessions before joining classes, but that didn’t make it easy. I used to come away frustrated that it was so difficult. Like Primal (paleo), being based around what we are functionally and genetically meant to be doing – lifting, pushing, throwing – CrossFit seemed a logical thing to do.

What are your short term and long term goals?
The short term and long term goals centre around the CrossFit Holy Grail: the Muscle Up. Progressions to, and then actually doing one.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
In CrossFit? Just simple fun stuff, kipping pull-ups and more than ten double-unders. Things that are retained like riding a bike. You don’t lose them over time unlike your knees, your abs and your memory. Outside CrossFit… Having two amazing kids. Finishing my postgraduate degree.

What is your favourite WOD / movement?
Favourite WOD has to be anything gassy with a variety of movements in it like rowing, toes to bar, pull ups etc.

What is your least favourite WOD / movement?
Can’t think of one.

Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them?
I’ve had a few friends join so far. I think everyone should come. I really do. It’s difficult to accurately describe it comprehensively and quickly. The whole domain thing doesn’t do it justice when you’re trying to sell the idea of Crossfit. I think people need to get the joke of scaling and not be intimidated.

Do you have a nickname?
Ciccio – ask Sal. (CFSL says: We’ve done a quick google translate of the word and yes, we need Sal to explain… Per favore, Sal?)

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