Athlete Spotlight: Jaime L. & Matt N.

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Some pundits like to slice and dice our community into 14th Streeters and H Streeters.

But we’ve got news for them. Some of us pledge allegiance to both locations.

Meet Jaime L. and Matt N. — dedicated CFDCers who lift heavy, move fast, and work hard at both gyms, depending on where work and life take them throughout the week.  From transitioning out of bike racing into CrossFit, to battling osteopenia and building bone density through training with CFDC, here’s their story.


How long have you been doing CrossFit, and what inspired you to begin? 

  • Matt: I’ve been doing CrossFit since January of 2015. Before that I raced both mountain bikes and road bikes for a couple of local teams. My older sister became a certified coach up in Boston and got my (now 72 year old) father into CrossFit. He let me take a couple of classes using his membership at District CrossFit and I got hooked. 
  • Jaime: I joined CrossFit over a year ago to build bone density. I’m a 32-year-old living with osteopenia and have regular tests conducted to measure how the condition is developing throughout my life. I recently had a check up bone densitometry examination to measure my progress since 2013 and the results spoke for themselves. Since beginning CrossFit, tests indicate increased bone density in most areas of my body. I have CrossFit to thank for my progress!

 

Why CrossFit DC?

  • Matt: I’ve been at CFDC since January 2016, after dropping in with Jaime and taking one of Chris’ classes. The facility and coaching was great, so I decided to join.
  • Jaime: I’ve been a member at CFDC for the entire time I’ve been doing CrossFit. I chose CFDC because it has two locations in two great neighborhoods of the city. I didn’t know it at the time I joined, but CFDC’s members are awesome. The friends I’ve made at the gym are fun, hard working and supportive.

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Who inspires you (in the gym or beyond)?

  • Matt: My three-year-old daughter, Charlotte. She’s got endless energy, and, at about 45 pounds, provides a great thruster workout for me when I can’t get to the gym. Seriously though, CrossFit has helped me build the strength to carry her around for hours. She has even been to a couple of CFDC social events, and loves playing around on the rings!
  • Jaime: My dad. He is the hardest and most diligent worker I know. He’s had some health challenges in the past that have led him to make some big changes in his life to obtain the level of health he has today. His renewed sense of wellness has inspired me from a younger adult age to remain committed to eating healthy, working out regularly and acknowledging when to relax. He has also taught me to not take life too seriously and promotes laugher as the best medicine.

 

Favorite post-workout meal?

  • Matt: FitAID, a protein shake, and Charlotte’s left over Annie’s Mac & Cheese
  • Jaime: On Sundays after the 90-minute class I either head home (via Trader Joe’s) to make steak and eggs or saddle up at the bar at Tico for their shredded cabbage salad – one of my favorite dishes in DC!

 

Favorite CFDC memory to date?

  • Matt: Joining in on Steve O’s May 26th workout: 30 burpees, 30 deadlifts, 30 burpees, 30 hang cleans, 30 burpees, 30 front squats, 30 burpees, 30 push press, 30 burpees, 30 back squats, 30 burpees, and 30 behind-the-neck thrusters. All with a 115 lb barbell.
  • Jaime: I did the 12 Days of Christmas WOD in December with Steve Opiyo and a group of other CFDC members. It took us just about an hour to finish and my body was sore for days after, but it was so much fun! If I didn’t know how to pace myself during long workouts before that, I do now.

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Proudest accomplishment (in the gym or beyond)?

  • Matt: Being a father. It’s seriously hard work, and no amount of preparation can get you ready to take care of another human, but man is it worth every minute!
  • Jaime: In the gym, I was pretty pumped when I got my first toes to bar. 2017 is the year of the first strict pull up. Beyond the gym, I’m very proud of the 5 years I spent as part of Penn State’s 46-hour Dance Marathon – the largest student-run philanthropy in the world that raises awareness and money to find a cure for pediatric cancer as well as offsets expensive hospital costs for families with young children. From being a dancer to leading the entire event as an Executive Council member my final year, it was the most rewarding and fulfilling time of my life.

 

If you had a spirit animal, it’d be…

  • Matt: An owl.
  • Jaime: A dolphin. I love being in the water on sunny summer days and consider myself playful and gentle-natured.

 

 

Burpees: yay or nay?

  • Matt: ugh….nay.
  • Jaime: I’m not even going to pretend that I like burpees.

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Tell us something that might surprise most people at the gym.

  • Matt: When I raced bikes, my in-season weight was 173 lbs. (at almost 6’3″ tall). People actually thought I was sick. Within 6 months of starting CrossFit, the lifting and eating well bumped me up to 213 lbs. Now I’ve found a happy medium somewhere in the middle 🙂
  • Jaime: I’ve never participated in a running portion of any WOD. Rowing all the way, baby!

 

Tell us about one coaching cue that has helped you the most.

  • Matt: Chris taught me how to do “real” toes to bar by keep my arms straight and pushing them out and down. It clicked immediately and is a huge help!
  • Jaime: Step ups are more efficient if you approach them from the corner of the box rather than straight on.

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