Congratulations to our Athletes of the Month: Sarah and Graeme

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Introducing our May Athletes of the Month, the hard-working and dedicated Sarah Hilton and Graeme Booth! The fact that they both have pretty awesome hair is just a happy coincidence…

Congrats to you both, keep up the amazing work!

Meet Sarah

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Tell us a bit about yourself…what do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun?
I came to London from New Zealand on a 2 year Visa 14 years ago, I’m now very close to having lived here for longer than I lived in NZ, so I’m not always sure where home is! I’m an ex-hooker (rugby… what were you thinking?) Outside of CrossFit, I balance my life out with live music, live sport, art, and beer. Not always in that order.  I’m also pretty insane about Bikram Yoga – luckily the two are quite complementary!

How did you get involved in CrossFit?
I’d been desperate to try CrossFit for years, as it always seemed like a challenge, and let’s face it – CrossFitters are hot! (CFSL says: You’re preaching to the choir there, Sarah.) However there was never a box anywhere near where I worked or lived, so when I saw signs up for CFSL practically next to my house it was perfect! 

When did you first join CFSL?
In August 2013, but then I had a 3 month break following ankle surgery in October, so I re-joined in January 2014.

What was your first WOD in the classes?
It was a Saturday class so it was a partner/group WOD, I do remember wheelbarrow races as a warm up, and pretty sure the WOD involved box jumps and pull ups, neither of which I’m strong at, so it was a good intro and a fun team environment!

When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?
I was seeing Gallows play in Camden, and my recently acquired lifting skills allowed me to launch much larger people into the mosh pit, that’s when it clicked! I immediately enjoyed the opportunity to learn new and more complex techniques, but must be honest and say that I found coming into class intimidating for the first few weeks. Don’t get me wrong here…it’s a hugely inclusive and encouraging community, and everyone is made to feel welcome, but I think I felt intimidated by how new and different it was to the workouts I’d done before, so it took a while to adjust to that. However now it’s like a drug (CFSL says: Please note, a healthy drug!) and I happily have multiple WODs a day!

What are your short term and long term goals?
Long term is to be as healthy and functional as I can into my old age, if I’m lucky enough to get there! I want to be the ropey old metal-hag in the mosh pit in her 70s!! Short term I’d like strict pull ups, free-standing handstand, and of course muscle ups….why not!

CFSL says: Since writing this interview, Sarah accomplished one of these goals… on 29 April, she got her first strict pull up! Congrats Sarah!!

What is your greatest accomplishment?
It’s a bit left-field as an “achievement”, however I’m probably most proud of my involvement in Anthony Gormley’s “One and Other” art project in 2009, where I had the opportunity to spend an hour on Trafalgar Square’s 4th plinth dressed as a small brown monkey, pant-hooting and jumping around, spitting ping-pong balls at the crowd gathered below and having bananas thrown at me. Aside from anything else, it was a great perspective of the square!

What is your favourite WOD / movement?
I enjoy working on the gymnastics moves most, and although I’ll probably sound like a knob saying this…. I like burpees. There, I said it. I’m closer to the ground than most, so they work for me!

What is your least favourite WOD / movement?
I hate rowing, therefore I intend to suggest we have a session via the box with a rowing club so those of us who want to, can work on technique. The members at the box with a rowing background seem to be pretty damn awesome, so there’s got to be something in that…..

Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family?
Of course I already do this almost incessantly, I’m a complete nuisance.

Favourite and / or least favourite song to WOD to?
I enjoy a bit of Disturbed for a WOD, anything speed metal based is always effective. I find Prodigy confusing to WOD to as it’s too associated with messy nights out!

Meet Graeme

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Tell us a bit about yourself…what do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun? 
For work I’m currently employed by City of London at Barbican and Guildhall School of Music – space management, timetabling and organisation for both the school and performance venues. For fun I either stuff my face full of good food or go out and see some fist-pumpingly good music.

How did you get involved in CrossFit?
I broke 5 bones in 2013 and Mr Dr said I probably wouldn’t heal very well. Did some research, read Supple Leopard, had a trial with Ozzie and became determined to be a stronger version of myself. All kindz of gainz! *insert more YouTube quotes here* CFSL says: Speaking of Supple Leopard, have you seen this guy’s squat mobility?! Totes insane.

When did you first join CFSL?
Christmas 2013 

What was your first WOD in the classes?
I was too preoccupied with holding back the puke that I can’t remember!

When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?
After watching the 2013 CrossFit Games. CFSL says: Graeme Booth. The Future Rich Froning but with better hair. 

What are your short term and long term goals?
Short term – I need to improve pull ups/grip strength and running (without my shins screaming at me to stop). 
Long term – get that elusive muscle up and spend more time on the rings. Then 15.1 and the rest…

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Smashing a new PB every month!

What is your favourite WOD / movement?
Deadlifts, or snatch!

What is your least favourite WOD / movement?
The long ones that involve running! 

Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them?
Yeeaaah! Get off your lazy butts and put in some work.

Do you have a nickname?
G-TRAIN! (cheers Rusty!)

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