We will be starting a new monthly feature called “Athlete of the Month.” The person selected will exemplify hard work, a great attitude, and overall just being awesome. Our first Athlete of the Month is none other than our own Andrea Richardson! In case you hadn’t heard, Ms. Richardson will be leaving us in the middle of May, and I cannot tell you how much we are going to miss her! Here is Andrea in her own words:
1. How long have you been doing CrossFit?
2. Where were you born and raised?
Born: Weeping Water,NE.
3. What do you do for work?
My first career was in film & TV production. My first production job was on the TV show Coach. I then moved into international publicity and promoted such notable films as Mighty Ducks 3 (yes 3) and Sister Act 3 (yes 3). Currently I am a fundraiser for a non-profit.
4. What is your Favorite WOD or lift?
Any WOD that incorporates deadlifts, rowing, situps, backsquat, pullups.
5. What is your Least Favorite WOD or lift?
Snatch. Bars overhead & squatting = yuck.
6. What were you doing for execise before you started CrossFit?
For 7 years I have been a road cyclist. In Oregon, 5 years prior to Colorado I rode century rides as well as participating in tri-athalons. Before my knees went bad, I used to run (slowly) but very long distances. The longest race I did was a half-ironman which was 1 m. swim, 56 m. on the bike and 13 m run. I joined CF because after moving to Colorado I became very concerned about my health. In the five years prior to Colorado I traveled for business, gained a lot of weight as my time for exercise was narrowed greatly.
7. What activities do you enjoy doing outside the gym?
I love to ride my super sweet road bike. I used to hike 14ers before my knees went bad. Mostly, I work a lot of hours, I love to cook for friends, I love to host parties, travel around the world alone, read a lot of books, sing out loud in the shower; I love good restaurants, live music and writing stories. I also like to “lift” small objects from restaurants and play pranks on friends and co-workers.
8. How, if at all, has CrossFit changed your life in anyway?
The best way to describe the way CF has changed my life is to talk about my fears when I walked in to CF. I was not cognizant of the depth of fears I was saddled with until I started CF. For the first six months (or more) it took all of my energy to walk down the driveway, to stay through class and to return again. I was riddled with fear. Most people do not understand how crippling fear can be but CF helped me to understand that I was more than my fear.
My fear showed itself by saying, I hate this exercise, I hate people, this is stupid and I also was prone to quitting the WOD before it was actually over. I didnt hate anything but I was afraid of everything: what willI I look like, what if I can’t, what if they laugh. I was not aware of these thoughts until CF. Sometimes a person must enter an entirely new environment before they are able to see new things. I did not know how much I was sabatoging my own life by my own thinking until CF.
So, yes, I am stronger. Yes, I sit up straighter because my back is stronger. Yes, my one rep dead lift is 220. Yes, I can low bar back squat confidently and all of that is wonderful. I am glad the shoulder I destroyed in a horrible bike accident can move (almost) in a full range of motion but mostly, I am glad I can trust people. I am glad I can wear shorts in public and think about my strong legs rather than my fat legs. I am glad to be around men & women who encourage me to finish that last rep – long after everyone else has finished and I am glad I no longer feel ashamed of the body I was born with. I am glad I see its strength and power.
Today, I am glad of a 220 deadlift, a 150 backsquat, my rowing (not run), my pullups with bands, my knee pushups, my step-ups (not box jumps), my clunky snatch, my push press and all of the things I was afraid to do just one year ago. I am glad that I am not my fear.