Name: Christine Parizo KZJP6757

Age: The big 4-0

Occupation: Freelance B2B technology content marketing writer and journalist (I write customer success stories, blog posts, and white papers for enterprise software companies and feature articles for technology publications)

Deadlift Max: 175

Back-squat Max: 125

Got Muscle-ups? Never say never

1 mile run: 7:19. Half marathon (because you know I have to put this in here): 1:50:37

Favorite WOD: Anything with power cleans, box jumps, deadlifts, and/or…. RUNNING!

Favorite Lift: Power cleans!IMG_4726

How long have you been CrossFitting? Since August 2015.

Which class time do you usually attend? 8 am

How did you find CrossFit? My running friends in Massachusetts (one in particular) kept telling me how awesome it was. So after we finished the arduous process of selling our house, packing said house into a U-Haul, and moving down to Texas, I started looking for a box. Holly responded the fastest to my emails and didn’t seem too scary, so I booked a free trial class. I was kind of nervous because I had very minimal barbell experience (like, I knew what one was…) but I loved the trial class, and the atmosphere at CLCF was really supportive, so I signed up and was immediately hooked. Now I can’t shut up about it, but it’s the reverse Fight Club rule.

IMG_2966What is your athletic background? I was captain of the smoking team in high school and used to run from the security guards in three-inch chunky-heeled boots, sometimes scaling 10-foot high chain link fences while carrying a lit cigarette and a backpack full of textbooks.

Yeah – I basically did as little as possible for most of my life, aside from some aerobics DVDs and yoga. After my daughter was born and I went freelance, I got serious about fitness and took up running and dumbbell work. I had run four half marathons by the time I started CrossFit.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? You might need to have a word limit on this, because I can talk/write about this for HOURS. But two big things:

1) I have so much more confidence. I’m doing things I never thought I’d do, like handstand pushups, which makes me feel stronger mentally as well as physically. I’m better at standing up for myself and saying no to potentially bad situations – and stepping outside my comfort zone, like with public speaking. There’s something about being a bad@ss at the gym that translates into being a bad@ss in life.

2) Going all in with the nutrition program has completely changed how I view food, fueling, and my body. If you know my story, you know anorexia has been a significant part of it. I spent a lot of my life fighting my body and punishing it. Recovery is a lifelong process, but with the meal plan and seeing the progress I’ve made in the box and out, I feel like I have a firm foothold on it and a roadmap to guide me out of the times when I want to slip back into destructive behavior. I don’t focus on the number on the scale so much now and instead focus on what percentage of my body weight I’m putting on the bar or what I was able to do today that I couldn’t do a year ago. CrossFit is helping me heal.

What motivates/inspires you? Without a doubt, my kids. I want to show them that you can do whatever you set your mind to, no matter what anyone else tells you. (And I started my son in CrossFit Kids, which he loves, so thank you Coach Dana and Coach AJ for teaching him to love burpees. I’m still not there yet.) If you’ve ever been a fan of LOST, then you know the John Locke quote, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” In the box (and out), I’ve done things people told me I couldn’t. That’s the attitude I want my kids to have as they make their ways through life. Don’t let other people attach artificial limits to your life. The limit does not exist.

What is your proudest (CF) achievement? When I legit RX’d an Open WOD (18.1). I was so frustrated coming in that morning because I was positive I wouldn’t be able to clean and jerk a 35-pound dumbbell, and I was annoyed because I can jerk more than 70 pounds AND have toes to bar, dangit, and I wanted to get that RX! Coach Holly showed me how to do it, and when it was go time, I did it! Multiple times! Getting a 35-pound dumbbell overhead is no small feat for these twig arms!

Name one goal/personal achievement that you would like to achieve through CrossFit. If I have to choose just one, teaching my daughter that fitness and health is about what your body can do and not whether it looks a certain way or is at an arbitrary number on the scale or fits into a certain clothing size. I want her to grow up to know that fitness and health is important, and that it’s not about diet and exercise but fueling and training. Basically, I want her to be proud of what her body can be capable of and not base her self-worth on her appearance, which so many of us women are taught to do at a young age.

Oh, and survive my first marathon. But that’s a second goal – ask me about that after January 20.

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? Running, which is my “me” time. I read voraciously and love well-written TV shows like Game of Thrones. I also have a couple of cross-stitch projects floating around and a blog I like to write (runoutofthebox.com, if you’re looking for something to read). Oh, and any chance I get, I hop on a flight to Manhattan, drink staggering amounts of coffee, go to shows and museums, and see how often I get mistaken for a New Yorker.IMG_7134

What is your favorite cheat meal? Do you even have to ask? TACOS! And chips and queso, sushi, prosciutto and mushroom pizza… but mostly tacos.

Any advice for new members?

1) Definitely remove “I can’t” from your vocabulary.

2) Listen to Holly (and do what she says), because she knows what she’s talking about – and she’ll also tell you some pretty funny stories. Goat season is the best.

3) Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, because this is YOUR CrossFit journey and your experience. (And this was a tough one for me…) Instead, ask Holly what you should be shooting for in the WOD (5 rounds, 8 minutes, whatever) and SCALE APPROPRIATELY.

4) TRUST THE PROCESS! Anything worth having requires work – so go all in with your nutrition, with all the little suggestions Holly will give you to make your lifts better, with pretty much everything. Work hard, and your progress will blow you away, in and out of the box.

5) HAVE FUN! CrossFit is for blowing off steam, for working out with awesome people, and for that AMRAP where you forget about everything else but how much those wall balls are kicking your butt.

Have you met Pukie? Ummm, not at the box…