February L200 Athlete(s) of the Month, Casey and Sarah Phillips

 

Sarah
1. The DC Metro is very transient; from where did you move? What brought you to area? What do you do as a career?

I was born and raised in Warrenton, VA, which is a small town only 45 minutes from where we live in Arlington now. So I guess you can say that I am from the area. After graduating college from Redford University in 2006, I moved back to Northern VA to start my career in Fashion. After a few years of various jobs, a few major career changes and building my fashion and fitness blog (Fifty-Two Thursdays) I quit my full time job so that I could continue to build my blog and start my own creative consulting firm. 52 Thursdays Consulting has been up and running for a little over a year now and we help all kinds of businesses find their voice online via social media content creation and management, photography, blog writing, online advertising etc. Needless to say it keeps me super busy!

2. How did you get started in CrossFit? Did you have prior athletic experience? And how long have you been at CFSA? What’s your favorite or least favorite workout?

After years at Gold Gym, going to the same old boring classes, Casey finally dragged me out of there and convinced me to try Crossfit. I had always been super active in the gym but never felt like I was making serious improvements. I kind of stayed at the same level of tone, no matter what I did. That was until I found Crossfit and whoa have things changed for me! I have been Crossfitting for a year and a half now and am addicted. I can barely stand if I miss a day in the gym!

My least favorite workout is riding the Assault bike, it gives me butterflies in my stomach every time I lay eyes on that thing.
3. What’s your greatest improvement/achievement since joining us at CFSA?

It’s hard to pick just one because everything has been improving and continues to daily! Three months ago, I don’t think I could do one strict pull-up and now I can do 7! I also hadn’t deadlifted more than 160 and now I am deadlifting 225.  I owe that to the amazing coaches for pushing me past what I thought were my limits and for making me realize that I am way stronger then I ever thought I was. Crossfit Football has also been a game changer for me, I have seen serious gains since starting the program a little over a month ago. I think I PR every time we have class! I know that won’t last forever but I am loving how strong I look and feel in and out of the gym.

4. Now that you’ve been crushing it in the gym, what advice would you offer our CFSA newbies? What motivates and pushes you to continually improve?

Don’t give up. Even though something is super hard and you feel like you will never get there, just keep practicing and you will get it. Just keep showing up and giving your all and it will pay off, I promise! If you are looking to get stronger, you really should try Crossfit Football. I can’t say enough good things about the program!

5. Tell us something about you no one at the gym knows. It can be anything: worst job you’ve ever had, the cheat food you constantly crave, the workout you fear most…anything you’d like to share.

I am terrified of birds, have been in a rap video and once shut down the GW parkway when my car was struck by a lawn mower.
Casey
1. The DC Metro is very transient; from where did you move? What brought you to area? What do you do as a career?
I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in western South Dakota but lived on the road as a political campaign worker for around a decade after college.  After wrapping up a campaign in Mississippi in 2007 I got a job on capitol hill and moved to Arlington.  Politics brought me here but a “local” girl and a business start-up have kept me here.
I started RedPrint Strategy which is a political consulting and advertising agency 5 years ago where we focus on writing and creating political and corporate advertising.  It was a real grind at the beginning but we’ve grown quickly from just me to now a 10 person shop in a brand new and bigger office in Old Town Alexandria (next door to Chipotle) visitors are always welcome, we have beer.

 

2. How did you get started in CrossFit? Did you have prior athletic experience? And how long have you been at CFSA? What’s your favorite or least favorite workout?
I played offensive line for the University of Wyoming and Augustana College, was an all state basketball player in South Dakota, ran track and threw shot / discus in high school and even been in a couple rodeos. So I’ve had extensive athletic experience and quite a bit of good strength training and experience in olympic lifting but I had let my fitness level diminish greatly over the first few years in the DC area just going to Gold’s Gym from time to time with no real plan or goals wasn’t cutting it.
2 years ago in January I tried to workout at Golds on January 3rd it was a terrible experience and I was disgusted by not being able to find a space to park or to lift so I walked out, got in my car and drove past all the local Crossfit gyms, came home, researched them online, decided on CFSA and signed up for an intro class, the next day Conor kicked my butt and I was hooked.
Favorite workout is anything involving moving heavy ass weight.
Least favorite but most needed is anything involving moving my heavy ass around

 
3. What’s your greatest improvement/achievement since joining us at CFSA?
My body has changed drastically I’m a lot leaner and quite a bit stronger too, I did 35 double unders the other day and have gone from not being able to do a single pull up to being able to do 10 butterfly pull ups in a row.  I have a long way to go but the gains I have made encourage to show up every day and keep improving.

 
4. Now that you’ve been crushing it in the gym, what advice would you offer our CFSA newbies? What motivates and pushes you to continually improve?
I’ve made ridiculous strength and flexibility gains and those have improved my daily life dramatically,  but it’s really the community that motivates me.  I’ve made lifelong friends at the gym by having fun in class and embracing the other athletes and team culture we have at CFSA.  It is absolutely the right combination of seeing friends, being encouraged and banging weight that brings me back through the door day after day.
I travel a lot for work and drop into boxes all over the country and I’ve never seen a gym culture or the detail of instruction that we get at CFSA so newbies shouldn’t be afraid to jump in and embrace the culture and take advantage of the great coaching we have.  Also don’t be afraid to show up on days when the programming isn’t something you are good at, if I can do burpees as a 300 pounder with rebuilt knees anybody can.
Also since my wife has joined the gym we are in constant competition, keeping up with Sarah is my ultimate motivator because I always know if I skipped class I’d be in trouble at home.
5. Tell us something about you no one at the gym knows. It can be anything: worst job you’ve ever had, the cheat food you constantly crave, the workout you fear most…anything you’d like to share.
I rode my horse to grade school, played bass guitar in 2 college bands, was a semi-professional magician and I’ll never understand why Wall Balls always seem to show up in between my sets of deadlifts.
See y’all at the gym.
Nooners represent!