Congratulations to Perpetua Athletes of the Month – Alja and Dhruve!

 In Blog, London

Congratulations to Perpetua Athletes of The Month – Alja Spoljaric and Dhruve Shah!
Alja and Dhruve were chosen by the coaches for the serious effort they both put in as well as their amazing progress!
Keep it up guys!
Fun facts:
Dhruve has lost 8 stone since 2014!!
Alja makes some seriously good healthy treats, if you haven’t tried them – you have been missing out!

 

Meet Alja

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1> Where are you from?
Born and raised in Slovenia but as my Dad is Croatian we spent a lot of time in Croatia as a family, so I consider both places my home. I’ve also lived in Italy, Belgium and Ireland before moving to UK this January.

2> When you’re not at Perpetua what do you do for work and for fun?
I’ve recently quit my job, but my background is in PR and marketing for food and drink brands. I’m a huge foodie, so I spend a lot of my free time either developing and experimenting with healthy recipes or eating out. So basically when I’m not doing CrossFit, I do food πŸ™‚

3> How did you find out about CrossFit?
I found out about CrossFit over 5 years ago, but finally decided to give it a go when I moved to Brussels in August 2013. Was hooked instantly.

4> How long have you been a member at Perpetua?
I first joined Perpetua Dublin last year, but have been a member of the London box since January this year.

5> Why do you do CrossFit?
Personally I like doing CrossFit for a number of reasons but I will narrow it down to three main ones: first, I like how performance has become more important to me than physical appearance. I mean I still train to look good, won’t deny that, but it’s not my first and sole purpose of training – hitting a PB, mastering a new skill or smashing a WOD is. Second, the community. I will never get tired of chalky high fives, sweaty hugs and screams of joy when someone finally gets that first pull up, muscle up or whatever it is they’ve been working so hard for. Also, I’ve moved quite a lot in my (fairly) young life and it can really suck being a newbie in town, so CrossFit was always a great way for me to meet people and make new friends. Lastly, it just makes you feel like a freekin’ badass, ready to conquer the world.

6> How often do you train?
I train 5-6 days a week, 8-10 classes in total and mostly evenings. As you can see, I don’t have much life outside Perpetua.

7>What are your fitness goals?
I’ve so many! Definitely improving my snatch, both power and squat (it’s those damn hips and dropping under the bar that’s killing me πŸ˜‰ But Mario and G have helped me a lot on improving it recently so getting there! Also, being comfortable in a handstand so I can finally start doing those handstand push-ups πŸ˜‰ And improving my kipping. Finally, I want to do more team competitions along the lines of Filthy 150 that I did last year in Ireland. That was so much fun!

8> What is your greatest achievement?
Getting my first strict pull-up and being able to do overhead squats as up until January I couldn’t really do them due to a knee injury.

9> What or who motivates you?
In life, it’s my family, whereas in training it’s definitely my coach Gilesy who’s not just a top notch coach but an all-round awesome bloke; also all the other lovely coaches at Perpetua, not to mention some wonderful members who brighten up my day every single class and make me feel like a badass even when the workout or lift doesn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I really do feel blessed to have made some amazing friends here at Perpetua.

10> What is your favourite and least favourite WOD or movement?
My favourite are wall balls (yes, I know I’m a weirdo) and cleans. My least favourite are handstand push-ups as I can’t do them (lol) and I really struggle being upside down. I’m always afraid I’m gonna hurt my neck.

11>Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them starting out?
I would and I have. I’d say don’t be scared of trying it as there are infinite ways of scaling all the movements and no you won’t get hurt by a barbell and people won’t look down on you for not being able to do something as they’ve all been there plus every single person has at least one weakness, no matter how long they’ve been training. Lastly, not every CrossFit gym is the same, find one that suits your purpose and that offers quality training, really put some time and effort into researching which one is the best one for you.

12>Favourite cheat meal?
Irish soda bread or fresh sourdough with either softened French butter, bone marrow butter or dipped in meat fat, pasta carbonara with extra crispy pancetta and homemade warm apple pie with bourbon vanilla ice cream. All those gaaaaaiinnnzzzz πŸ™‚

13> Favourite thing about Perpetua?
Compared to other boxes, Perpetua has by far one of the finest coaches and programming I’ve ever seen, not to mention pretty sweet facilities. You rarely see such a personal approach to training too. And obviously, I love the Perpetua #community – yup, I’m hashtagging it πŸ™‚ All such strong and wonderful individuals, I feel lucky to be part of their CrossFit journeys. Not to mention the infinite chats we have about donuts and meat sweats. So many fellow foodies at Perpetua, love it!

14>Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest moment at Perpetua?
Again, there is quite a few but from the top of my head: JM cup and box battles, shaking it to JT and Rhianna with coach Stuart and open gym with cheesy 90s music – trust me, Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC are the key to new PBs πŸ™‚

Anything else to add?

You guys freekin rock, feel so much love for you lot! xx

Meet Dhruve

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1> Where are you from?
Grew up in NW London, spent a good few years in SW London and currently living in East London (hence the beard!)

2> When you’re not at Perpetua what do you do for work and for fun?
For work, I’m an Accountant in the public sector. My office is in Victoria, round the corner from the box. For fun, riding around on my bike, trashy thrillers on my kindle, gigs, cooking and currently volunteering 2 days a month at a pop up museum in East London.

3> How did you find out about CrossFit?
I was Paleo for a year so heard about CrossFit through various primal blogs. A good friend runs and accountancy firm and he mentioned one of his clients was a CrossFit gym, the cheering each other on and high fives sounded right up my street so I booked my introductory session.

4> How long have you been a member at Perpetua?
Since October 2015. I only starting doing Sporty things in December 2014, took up running, did a half marathon, realised I was getting bored and wanted to try out something a bit more stimulating.

5> Why do you do CrossFit?
I’ve never finished a WOD and not felt like I need to pass out, which makes me feel smug for the rest of the day. It’s also bloody good fun. I get horribly bored in regular gyms.

6> How often do you train?
Trying to hit 5 times a week, always 6.30am

7>What are your fitness goals?
Do a pull up. Coach Mike’s given me a 10 minute EMoM to do pre class so hopefully I’ll get there soon!

8> What is your greatest achievement?
In July 2014 I was about 8 stone heavier than I am now, so probably that! Lost the pounds by sorting out my diet and doing some exercise – who knew?!

9> What or who motivates you?
All the 6.30 squad, and a special shout out to Gari who never fails to give me a ‘good morning’ fist bump

10> What is your favourite and least favourite WOD or movement?
Box jumps, KB swings or running are my faves (I’m still very Base!), upside down things are not my jam.

11>Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them starting out?
I don’t shut up about it, so big fat YES on the recommendation front. Advice – I remember before the first class being a little nervous and intimidated because everyone was so ripped and were beasting the work outs. But everyone is also super nice, really welcoming and massively supportive. So advice would be – don’t be nervous, there is no reason to be!

12>Favourite cheat meal?
I spend a good portion of the 6.30am class discussing what I like to eat. Tip three things are Chicken Wings (recommend Orange Buffalo in brick lane!), Burgers (my London top 5 is: 1) Dip n Flip, 2) Bleaker St Burger 3) Lucky Chip 4) Meat Liquor 5) Hawksmoor Kimchi Burger), and ANYTHING with gravy

13> Favourite thing about Perpetua?
Coach Lexi’s WOD playlists, Chase and Status – No Problem, absolute banger.

14>Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest moment at Perpetua?
That time I forgot to bring my work out shorts and only had my cycling shorts, bright red tight lycra which one could objectively describe as offensive.

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