Nothing cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.
Name: Kathleen Ryan
Hometown: Walpole, Massachusetts
CrossFitting Since: In and out since 2010, but safe to say 2012 really started the CrossFit addiction!
Favorite WOD or Movement: I suppose this changes with the day, but as of right now, I would have to say Amanda for the WOD and Muscle ups for the movement. Coming into 2013, the snatch was not a friend of mine, and I could not even get a goddamn muscle up. A million hours of practice later (at least it feels like that much), the snatch is improving and I can finally string a few muscle ups together. Exciting! Of course they are both still very skilled and difficult movements but the physical and mental toughness needed is what makes these types of workouts fun. So yea, I suppose it is these for now and once I can do some more tricks, the “favorites” will probably change!
Least Favorite WOD or Movement: My least favorite movements are the ones I feel least comfortable doing rather than the ones that push me physically. I would rather do 7 minutes of burpees or 150 wall balls (yes Elizabeth, you are reading that right!) which I know will suck no matter what, rather than a workout with a skill that I’m uncomfortable with. Right now, I feel least comfortable with butterfly pull ups. For someone who could (if dared and offered monetary compensation) tear up the dance floor on any given day at The Whiskey, I have absolutely no rhythm when it comes to those pull ups. I guess I have not watched enough Chris Spealler videos.
What is your fitness background? What were you doing before CrossFit? I was going to play basketball in college but intramural soccer on a cement basketball court where I got to wear my old school sambas just sounded way more fun. The gals on the soccer team happened to be on the Women’s Rugby Team at PC… and the rest is really history. I have been playing rugby for about 9 years, first in college and then for club teams in Boston and now New York. In case you all don’t know what Rugby is, use that Google thing, there is a lot of info out there. To enhance your curiosity, it just so happens to be in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil so it has to be somewhat cool, no? YES!
How have you changed since starting CrossFit Virtuosity? I think we all know how our body can change if we stick to a CrossFit lifestyle and the physical rewards this sport alone can pay us. But what is important that some underestimate is how it affects you in ways where other fitness regimens don’t. The community is awesome, the atmosphere is great, and the people, well they are fabulous too. It is pretty cool to be able to leave work and head to the gym to for a couple hours to get in your training but also hang with good people who push you to be a better person and athlete. I wouldn’t say CrossFit has changed me per se, but it allows me to be who I am, do what I love, and to surround myself with positive and awesome people.
You competed in the Open this year. What did you do to prepare yourself for it? How did you do? I did compete in the Open and it was an awesome five weeks. The team was already in full swing with our training when I had finished the Rugby season in mid November of 2012. I gave myself a week or so to let my body heal and then jumped back in. Our training program was based off of The Outlaw Way (again, interweb!) which was fairly new to most of us in some respects. The program requires a lot of commitment, discipline and mental focus. You have to put in the work to see the results.
As a team we did ok. I think this year was a good test to see where we all stand and showed us what we need to do to make it to the next stage – Regionals – and the commitment needed from our bodies, heart, and mind. Each year has shown to get more competitive but I know we are all proud of each other for coming out each week and fighting our hardest, sometimes doing the workouts 2-3 times for just one more rep!
Individually, it was all I could ask. It was my first Open and my goal was to have fun and see what I could do. Of course you want to do awesome and rank #1 in the world, but um, reality check, that was not going to happen. But that is ok! I think I slotted in at 199 after all said in done in the NE. I’m really excited about next year! I learned so much about myself in the five weeks of competition, not just as an athlete, but as a person and that is all you can really ask.
What are your goals for 2013? Where are you in terms of achieving them? Oh my, there are so many. I would never list all of them and bore the 3 people who will probably read this…but… I think I can honestly say that I do not want there to be a movement I cannot do well. I want to get as close to perfection as I possibly can given the resources I have. Not because I am trying to be the top athlete this sport has ever seen, but because it is more of a personal challenge. I do not want to have any “least favorite movements”.
Any best CFV stories? My mind immediately goes to something funny that I have experienced or some really juicy story about how that one time, with, when, ahhh, not happening! The best stories I have are every day going into the gym and just having fun and working hard with the rest of the people there. It may sound corny, but it is truly amazing to be encouraged to work harder and pay it forward to someone else. We all make each other better and there is not one day that I have not experienced that at the gym. I think that is a major kudos to CFV, the coaches, and the members who make CFV the best story, in and of itself.
What advice do you have for people just getting started? Ice and Epsom bath, stretch (every second you can), and eat as many sweet potato fries as possible. Why? Because you can! As long as you keep pushing yourself and not allowing your brain to tell you that you can’t, you will be transformed in a lot of different ways. Don’t be shy, jump right in and just give all you can each day. You are bound to see results. There will be times that you are frustrated or want to quit and that is fine, because it means the CrossFit spell is working! Step out of your comfort zone and have fun with what this amazing community can bring to your life!