When Dian S. walked into her first CrossFit DC class four and a half years ago, she found a small, motley crew gathered in a cramped studio space. Since then, our community (not to mention training space) has grown by leaps and bounds.
But some things haven’t changed at all, and for that we’re thankful. At the top of that list are long-time CFDCers like Dian, whose can-do attitude, constant encouragement, and wicked sense of humor has buoyed the CFDC community through thick and thin. Read on for a window into Dian’s CrossFit experience — from how photos of an old-friend-turned-CrossFitter inspired her to jump into her first Elements class… to a memorable battle with toes-to-bar during the CrossFit Open… to how she could totally beat Coach Tom and Coach Chris in a workout.
Hope you enjoy reading this edition of CFDC Athlete Spotlights as much as we did!
(photo credit: Charles W.)
How long have you been doing CrossFit, and what inspired you to begin?
May 2014 was my 4-year anniversary with CFDC. [CFDCer] Tom A. inspired me to start CrossFit. Tom and I lost touch for a couple of years and when we reconnected I saw all of these amazing photos of him working out, shirtless of course, on his Facebook page. I was really out of shape and needed to get back in a fitness routine. When Tom and I met for breakfast one morning I peppered him with questions about the photos. He told me about Tom Brose and encouraged me to give CrossFit a try. I was in Elements at the [old] Kalorama gym within a week and CFDC hasn’t been able to scare me away since.
Favorite and least favorite CrossFit movements?
I enjoy the Olympic lifts. At first I thought Olympic lifting, and weightlifting generally, was all about brute strength but thankfully I now know better. Funny thing is, I really dislike overhead squats. I won’t finally be able to pull under the bar with snatches until I get comfortable in that bottom OHS position. I guess I better embrace the overhead squat.
You could totally beat Coach Chris and Coach Tom at ________________.
Tom and Chris are amazing coaches and inspiring athletes. Despite all their badassery I’m pretty sure I could beat Chris at double unders. I don’t particularly like running but I think I could suck it up long enough to beat Tom in a run.
Favorite CFDC memory?
I participated in the CrossFit Open in 2012. Workout 12.3 was an 18 minute AMRAP of 15 box jumps, 12 push presses and 9 toes-to-bar. I was able to complete the box jumps and push presses then I spent the remainder of the 18 minutes at the pull-up bar attempting toes-to-bar. Chris and Sara coached me throughout but I still didn’t get a single rep. Seems like an odd thing to count as a favorite memory but I always recall how patient both Chris and Sara were and the encouragement from the class. Despite my disappointment with my performance I went home, entered my score, and I was back in the gym the next day.
What do you do when you aren’t flinging heavy weights around the gym? (Occupation, hobbies, secret alter egoes?)
I’m an attorney. Practicing law has plenty of dry moments so I’ve been known to liven up my day by watching Oly lifting videos on YouTube. I sit in my office and imagine that I’m as strong as say a Lidia Valentin or Tatyana Kashirina (sigh). I bought a couple of bell pepper plants on a whim a few years ago and, as it turns out, my spur of the moment purchase got me hooked on gardening. What should be used as a parking space in my backyard is now a container garden. I’ve tried growing just about everything in my pots. I gave corn a try this year. I hope someday to move beyond my row house backyard and get a real plot of land. Then, I can really go nuts.
Your spirit animal, and why?
Tiger Shark. Tiger sharks eat just about anything and so do I.
Tell us about a goal you’re working toward (in the gym or beyond).
I can’t believe it has been 4 years. I still have a lot of work to put in on the skills. I have yet to get anywhere close to the Julia level with my hollow rocks and don’t get me started on handstands. I’m going to start carving out some time to take advantage of the open gym and work on the skills.
Why do you do CrossFit?
I was one of those kids that had a variety of clever excuses to get out of gym class. I wasn’t an inspiring athlete so I always volunteered to keep score, inventory the athletic equipment, tidy up the locker room, just about anything that would keep me on the sidelines. Now that I’m older I appreciate that CrossFit makes me want to push myself physically and participate. I still moan (I swear we are always doing burpees) but I get to the gym, do the work and I try my best.
Dian, thanks for the giggles, thanks for being such an inspiring role model, and thank you for being part of our community!