September Athlete of the Month, Patricia Anderson

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 am a native New Yorker–from Long Island originally and Brooklyn more recently. I first moved to DC for college at The American University and have been here for most of the past 20 years, with the exception of a three year stint in Brooklyn. My career has been pretty diverse and I now work as an event producer.

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?

As a kid in PE classes, I was not naturally “athletic” and therefore often discouraged when it came to physical activities and organized sports. About eight years ago through the combination of adopting a regular yoga practice and an outdoor boot camp in Central Park, I discovered my “inner athlete” and a love for being physically active. I continued practicing yoga and picked up Zumba and kickboxing for cardio balance in my fitness routine. I thrive in dynamic environments and definitely needed a challenge–so a couple of years ago, I noticed my friend Raquel Russell bragging about CFSA on Facebook and it piqued my curiosity. From what I knew about CrossFit, I thought it might be a good fit for me, except for the running. Two plus years later, I love CFSA and I still hate running. And burpees. But now, people regularly refer to me as “an athlete” and that is incredibly empowering.

3.  What’s your greatest improvement/achievement since joining us at CFSA?

There have been many victories for me along the way because I came in with no expectations besides generally improving my fitness. I would have NEVER imagined being able to lift some of the weights I can lift now. My favorite workouts are always the very long, seemingly impossible partner/team workouts that usually happen on the weekends. By far, my greatest achievement was the memorial September 11th workout last year. It was an incredibly moving experience and the most difficult physical challenge I have ever faced.

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?

As long as you are showing up and giving it YOUR best, you are continually improving yourself and your life. Today may not be the day you achieve the big goal–whatever that big goal is–but so long as you keep showing up for yourself and moving forward you are improving.

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 strive to live gratefully in the present. And still most days I dream of living at the ocean and making a living as a singer/CrossFit coach/yoga instructor.

Athlete of the Month July 2015 – Lauren Shelar

Lauren, who is new to the CFSA community, has had a no nonsense focus since she first stepped in the door. In Coach Conor’s words, “she’s been getting after it like a beast in the Level 100 classes from day 1.”

Lauren found us at CFSA through a co-worker, she works in nutrition communications and PR, so healthy living is a way of life for them. After said co-worker started at CFSA, he shared how much he enjoyed it. Based on his experience, she decided it would be worth it to check it out and next thing you know, she joined the gym! Lauren has been all over the fitness world, literally. Trapeze. Yoga. Spinning. But, for her, CrossFit now ranks as a top favorite exercise program.

If Lauren could share info with newbies, she’d recommend to: “Stick with it [CrossFit]. The first few classes can be extremely intimidating, but if you keep coming back you’ll see improvements. For me, CrossFit is about being able to see a return on what I put into it– it’s my escape from being tethered to technology for work and I love that when I show up three or four times a week, I’m less stressed and I’m seeing incremental improvements in the weight I can lift and the speed of my WODs.”

We’re proud of Lauren for her focused energy. In a few short months, she’s busted into triple digits in the back squat, annihilated MetCons AND taken detailed notes in her notebook. She gets everything she can out of each class. If you add that to her unyielding positive energy, you’ve got one pretty awesome CrossFitter.

To get to know more about Lauren:

  • Greatest Achievement: “Triple digit back squat! 🙂 Also, being able to use my new-found strength in the Virginia Tough Mudder to beat the boys at the Funky Monkey 2.0.”
  • Talk to us about something besides CrossFit: “I’m a registered dietitian, but I don’t cook and I love beer and pizza.”

Athlete of the Month July 2015 – Lloyd Burns

Lloyd is a transplant to the DC area from Westchester County in NY. Like many of us, he came for a job and has since made DC his home.

For Lloyd, CFSA was not his first CrossFit rodeo. He actually started the sport when deployed as a civilian at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The “box” was called Vulture CrossFit. Like most newbies, Lloyd was skeptical at first, but quickly started to feel at home because the gym reminded him of his previous athletic experiences with high school sports and college Football. From the moment he found comfort, he was hooked.

Here at CFSA, we got the pleasure of meeting Lloyd about a year ago, when he came in search of a CrossFit gym. He has been a staple at CFSA since. His work ethic, incredible strength, ability to empathize with others and general kindness have earned him a spot as a friend among athletes and coaches alike.

If Lloyd could offer a newbie some advice, he’d encourage them to “Never stop challenging yourself. Crossfit presents a lot of challenges with mobility, strength, conditioning and learning the movements which can be intimidating but you’ll never progress unless you take yourself out of your comfort zone. Trust the advice from our great trainers and don’t be afraid to fail. I am motivated by my fellow hard working CFSA/CFKB athletes. I see the effort and progress of others and it pushes me to not slack on my own individual improvement.”

Get to know more about Lloyd:

  • Favorite movement: the Clean
  • Least Favorite movement: the Snatch
  • Greatest Achievement: the Ring Muscle up
  • Talk to us about something besides CrossFit: “I love horror movies, especially old ones like Nosferatu, Creature from Black Lagoon, and also Godzilla!”

Thanks Lloyd for all your hard work and for jumping into this community headfirst with enthusiasm and that friendly smile.

Nutrition Seminar and Program – July 2015

The Nutrition Seminar is intended to lay out an alternative, yet scientific view of the basics of nutrition and to give guidance around how to fuel your body for optimal performance and function. This Seminar will be distributed as a series of videos and is FREE. Registration is REQUIRED to get access to the videos and further information about the Program and can be done here:

After watching the seminar videos, we’ll have a live chat Q&A session. This session will give you the opportunity to ask questions about the program and get real time answers. The Q&A will be held on Tuesday, July 14th at 9:00pm EST. You will get the link to this Q&A only after registering to get the videos.

Finally, after all that, we’ll kick off another round of the Nutrition Program, to begin on Monday, July 27th. The Program will be an opportunity for you to apply the principles taught in the seminar as you deepen your understanding of the effects of food.

In order to join this 8+ week program, you are required to watch the Nutrition Seminar videos AND participate in the Q&A session.

The link to sign up for the program will only be available to those who have registered for the Seminar videos and attended the virtual Q&A session. There is a 15 person cap on the program. Priority will be given to those who register first.